The importance of green IT and sustainability. Essay Example

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2Green IT & Sustainability


Sustainability initiatives, within the IT sector, are considered to be fundamental opportunity that better enhances the activities of businesses performances through innovation processes. It also acts to benefit the globe as well as one’s career within the sector as a whole. By adopting effective and efficient technologies, it is ascertained that information technology can play a fundamental function in enhancing an organization’s capacity to monitor, evaluate and implement more sustainable or green IT business functionalities. Certainly, by way of lessening the impact exerted on the immediate environment and also, through the mitigation of future possible risks of over-exploitation of the globe’s natural resources sets to become the priority in shaping the activities and strategies of most organizations today. Information technology, in its entirety, is meant to allow for the driving of sustainable initiatives that help to minimize costs and also, preserve the amount of available resources as well as provision of a better platform that allows for intensive innovations, which is significant in catapulting an organization’s economic, environmental and social performances for that matter. On a similar platform, green information technology is perceived as being a crucial shift that defines the way business is conducted, determines the effective ways of minimizing the costs attributed to operations, determines the way revenue functions can be formulated, help to reduce the level of possible risks as well as promote the impeding brand values for organizations.

In the recent times, a larger section of firm’s IT departments have been on the forefront participating in matters related to sustainability initiatives, which mostly takes shapes in the form of greening of the data centers. In a recent research survey dubbed “2008 Computerworld”, it was established that 6 out of every 10 IT senior most executives rated activities related to sustainable IT as being a fundamental function in regards to their respective organization’s overall Information technology strategies at any given moment in time. Notably, more than one-third of the survey participants postulated that there were work-in-progress or that there were plans within the next year or so to eliminate or manage the level of wastes, improve on their current level of grid computing or virtualization, involve green practices in the course of conducting procurement processes and also, take a greater stride in conducting energy-efficient evaluations.

Some of other IT-focused projects involve the modification of physical data center platforms in order to enjoy eco-efficiencies, engagement in the documentation process of policies that postulates the nature and definition of IT to an organization and also, evaluate areas where information technology depicts higher forms of impact on the level of organizational greenhouse gas reduction strategies and for which level of related costs. It is imperative to note that the aforementioned initiatives are meant to minimize or manage the current level of organization’s operational costs while at the same time allow the lowering of the level of energy consumed within any given time as well as the gas emissions that are related to greenhouse activities. All of these facets posit are directly related to the fundamental contributions made in regards to sustainable enterprise. In consequence, seven out of every 10 participants of the aforementioned research survey postulated that their respective green IT initiatives were all tied and related directly to the larger organizational strategy for purposes of enhancing sustainability. The immediate level of contribution of IT to greenhouse gas emissions is approximated at about 2 per cent, which is a rather massive figure that needs to be managed or reduced immensely. Given that IT can assist organizations conform to government-based compliances in regards to sustainability, company CIO’s are encouraged to participate aggressively in enterprise sustainability forums and thereby investigate the fairer practices and technologies that avail distinctive insight into sustainability based decisions and performance evaluation initiatives.

In relation to such stakeholders as consumers, employees as well as business partners, the bar for the production of environmentally sustainable products has been pushed higher. These stakeholders have been greatly concerned with the processes of energy utilization, carbon emissions, aspect of pollution as well as impeding social practices. Furthermore, they have also been on the forefront demanding for transparency in the manner for which sustainability information is disseminated. These demands have been met with intensive consequences so that the failure to provide the information technically translates to their shifting loyalty to other conforming business entities. Such value-chain stores as Wal-Mart have recently engaged IT based suppliers in a campaign to formulate distinctive details about the carbon footprints of their respective products. It is a clear indication that now than ever that only the suppliers that are able and willing to document their product’s sustainability are allowed intensive shelf space for trading.

Technologies attributed to sustainability data collection, evaluation and decision support functionalities possess an intensive level of potential in assisting organizations to create and thereby generate greener products as well as businesses operations, increase the level of revenues by way of marketing to environmental susceptible consumers, generation of greener commodities from their conception to completion period as well as in the course of improving the intangible assets to a business like brand loyalty and lower employee turnover rates. It should be noted that the fundamental objective of information technology has always been focused on helping organizations minimize costs by way of creating more efficient business processes but then, when the level of efficiency is perceived through a sustainability lens, the end outcome can be indeed startling for that matter. In any given business entity, information technology is considered to be making operations intrinsically more sustainable by way of allowing for online collaboration. This is attained by minimizing the need for intensive energy-wasting on land or in air. Following this line of reasoning, the collaborative initiatives can increase to greater levels of significance hence managing carbon footprints. An effective methodology can assist company’s CIO’s to influence the adoption of highly-placed capital expense projects that might involve whether to construct greener facilities or production processes.

Green IT is an area that has also gained immense levels of support in the recent times given that technologically and environmentally savvy executives have embarked on missions to lower the level of greenhouse gases being emitted and thereby reduce the level of costs attributed to operations. Some of the efforts that have so far been made in order to affect the aforementioned aspect include; the procurement of green equipment, the management of the power on and off schedules as well as recycling hardware at end of their productive lifespan. Retrospectively, a more considerable gain can arise whenever there is fairer information technology utilization program, effective capacity planning as well as efficient rightsizing models within the various IT platforms.