Companies Can be 'Green' With the Technology They Already Have

October 5, 2007
Lots gets written about these days regarding new types of technology that can help companies be more ‘green.’ These include everything from vehicle engines designed to run on corn-based fuel, computer chips that require less power to run, and revamped cooling systems for data centers. But, in terms of reducing impact on the environment, there is a lot companies can do with existing technology.
That, according to reporter Rebecca Thomson, was the message from Carbon Trust chief policy officer Michael Rea at a recent meeting. Carbon Trust is a London-based, government-funded company tasked with helping UK businesses and public sector organizations reduce their carbon emissions.
At the meeting, Thomson said in an Oct. 4 report, Rea stressed that the most important thing now is to reduce carbon emissions, whether that means using old or new technologies—and often what’s in place already suffices if used creatively.
To achieve this goal, Rea said, the IT departments of businesses and public sector organizations need to adopt green practices, which should include the use of thin-client technology and mobile workforces.
Rea has a good point. While new technologies may offer greater efficiencies in terms of ‘greenness’ than older ones, businesses needn’t be so eager to throw out all the old in favor of the new—especially if their budgets, at least for now, can’t support such changes.
When the term ‘carbon footprint’ is used to reference all potential impacts on the environment, it becomes pretty easy to go back basics when figuring out ways to be more Earth-friendly. If companies do not already have recycling programs or telecommuting policies in place, for example, they can start there to begin having a positive impact right away. After all, simple things like making sure all employees shut their computers off at the end of the day can make a significant difference without having to install all new infrastructure.

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