Companies are finally getting it that corporate green projects--once seen by many environmentalist skeptics as PR 'greenwash' to be rinsed off at the earliest so-called 'bottom line' excuse--are worth while even during tough economic times.
The reason is simple: taking steps like reducing energy consumption cuts costs.
Forrester's largest-ever survey of corporate green IT activities and interest has found that even in the face of the recession twice as many companies are accelerating their green IT initiatives compared to firms that are scaling back green projects. Of the companies surveyed in the report 'Market Overview: A Slowing Economy Won't Slow Down Corporate Green IT Initiatives' nearly half say they will accelerate or maintain their green IT projects. The main reason: saving money. 67-percent of respondents said reducing energy-related operating expenses was a motivation for pursuing a green IT agenda, up from 55-percent one year ago.
Forrester is also seeing a steady increase in buyers' awareness of tech vendors' efforts to promote their products as environmentally friendly. It is reporting that more companies are documenting their steps to improve sustainability of IT infrastructure: 52 percent of companies told it that they are either implementing or creating a "green IT action plan, up from 40 percent last year. The paper also reveals steady uptake of foundational green IT practices, including greener procurement criteria and engagement with green IT service providers.
To make green plans happen requires strong top-down commitment and bottom-up buy-in. Employees have to know why going green is important to their organizations, to themselves, and to the customers and the public that they directly or indirectly serve, and that their actions are making a difference. Ideally such programs need to have measurable goals, like carbon saving calculators, that individuals by nature strive for.
"Green IT is not a fad or a bubble," writes Forrester analyst Christopher Mines. "In tracking the attitudes and adoption of enterprise IT organizations for almost two years now, we are encouraged to see sustainable growth in the respondents' green IT practices. The slow-but-steady increase in awareness and activity bodes well in our view for continued growth in demand for greener IT products and services."