Green IT initiatives have been a growing trend in the corporate world over the past decade. As public awareness about the importance of using alternative energy sources to conserve energy and promote environmental sustainability grows, businesses have realized that cost savings are a welcome side effect of implementing green initiatives. Now that it’s clear that the green IT movement benefits consumers, businesses and the environment, it’s full speed ahead for many organizations.
What Is Green IT?
Information technology is a vital tool for all businesses in the modern marketplace, helping companies streamline operations, manage and store data, communicate, collaborate and strategize. Green IT initiatives aim to make all software and hardware more environmentally friendly in view of working toward a more sustainable future.
It’s possible to make sure information technodlogy services and equipment are more eco-friendly to reduce the impact of business on the environment and maintain a healthy planet. Some practices include implementing green IT initiatives throughout the entire supply chain, using renewable energy sources where possible and maintaining, operating and disposing of old equipment in a more sustainable manner.
What’s more, by saving energy and training employees to adopt eco-friendly work practices and reduce overall energy consumption, your business can save money.
Why Is Reducing Energy Consumption So Important?
Being energy-conscious is essential in today’s consumer-led world, where energy efficiency and the health of the planet are priorities for many families. However, in a fast-growing market where inflation keeps rising indefinitely, it’s crucial for small businesses to find new methods of reducing costs and preserving profits. A bonus feature of green IT initiatives and sustainable development is saving money.
By deploying green initiatives, you’re not only protecting future generations by preserving the environment; you’re also making smart business decisions.
Top Three Green Initiatives
The green initiatives that have the highest impact and are the easiest to implement are reducing paper use, tracking and reducing energy use and recycling business equipment. Let’s take a look at each primary green IT initiative in more detail.
Paper Use Reduction
One of the most obvious and easy-to-implement green initiatives is reducing paper use. For many businesses, this was the first noticeable green IT transformation, with computer storage replacing space- and time-consuming filing cabinets. However, if your business hasn’t yet taken the plunge and committed to going fully paperless, now’s the time.
Not only can you save money on paper; you also cut costs on other expensive office equipment items such as printers and printer ink cartridges. It’s not just about cost reduction, however, as companies can also improve workflow efficiency by going digital. For instance, sharing documents can be done instantly instead of waiting for mail or sending an unsecured fax.
Companies of all sizes, from large enterprises to small businesses, need to maintain a network of computers. It’s possible to invest in eco-friendly equipment in addition to more environmentally sound ways to power and cool them.
Green Data Centers and Cloud Computing
If you have a data center, it’s possible to find more energy-efficient ways of powering and cooling your IT equipment. Whether it’s hydroelectric power, solar-powered backup generators or switching over entirely to cloud computing, there are tons of ways to reduce energy consumption and save cash.
Cloud computing is growing in popularity as entrepreneurs realize the immense power of being able to host a computer network without a server room. Companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon have cloud-based servers that let you run your computer applications efficiently and sustainably.
Eco-Friendly Computing Devices
While desktops ruled the workplace for decades, laptops are catching up in recent years. Since technology has evolved to allow smaller devices to become more powerful, laptops are the smarter, more eco-friendly choice. They require less power, they’re portable and conducive to remote working and they’re more sustainable overall. Another option to consider is virtualization software that lets you share virtual servers and be more energy-efficient.
Learning how to maintain and recycle computing equipment is an essential green IT initiative. Even broken and old equipment contains many valuable components that can be reused and should never make their way into landfill sites. Not only is it a waste of resources, but potentially dangerous chemicals are being dumped into the planet.
Dispose of Equipment Correctly
Properly disposing of obsolete electronic equipment isn’t complicated. The first step is to remove potentially dangerous components such as batteries and recycle them separately from the computers. Instead of throwing old equipment in the trash, it’s essential to take them to a designated recycling center.
Keep in mind that you can resell devices that are old but not broken instead of throwing them away, and some tech firms offer store credit for old equipment.
How to Extend the Life of IT Equipment
It’s not essential that you have brand-new, top-of-the-line computing equipment at all times. Instead, focus on maintaining equipment and fixing component parts when they break instead of buying entirely new products.
More Green IT Initiatives
In addition to the above green IT initiatives, there are a number of other ways to adapt operations and become part of the green IT movement:
- If you have a printer, be sure to use an energy-efficient printer, low-VOC ink, recycled paper and paperless data distribution.
- Amend your supply chain to stop working with companies that don’t use green initiatives.
- Explore renewable energy options for powering your data center and other essential business equipment.
- Train your IT department on green data collection, device management and energy consumption.
Deploy a Corporate Social Responsibility IT Strategy Today
If you’re ready to implement green IT initiatives, save money and boost your brand’s reputation with an ever-more environmentally conscious public, get in touch with EIRE Systems today.