an ambitious program to understand the carbon impact
from a wide array of materials, parts, products, modes of
transportation, plants and suppliers—as well as IT systems.
Ford uses PTC’s InSight product analytics software to view
these factors throughout their life cycle, explains Monique
Oxender, global manager for supply chain sustainability.
Another company determined to go green is Tesco, a
United Kingdom-based supermarket chain with 4,331 stores
scattered around the globe. It aims to slash its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2020 and become carbon neutral by
IT will play an integral role in sliding the dial from goal to
reality by becoming more efficient and helping the organiza-
tion introduce technology solutions. “Green IT doesn’t have
to involve a big financial investment,” says Mike Yorwerth,
group technology and architecture director. “It’s more about
attitude and approach.”
PlanNet’s Davis says that organizations such as Ford and
Tesco are beginning to understand that a comprehensive green
strategy pays enormous dividends and ripples throughout
the business. “They can’t ignore the market dynamics and
the need for a positive corporate image,” he says.
Moreover, the green concept reaches far beyond simply
issuing press releases and trumpeting achievements.
“It’s about becoming the type of company that appeals to
consumers, reducing their costs and future-proofing themselves,” Davis explains.
In fact, some companies have sought out data center
locations with renewable energy sources and favorable climate zones. Google’s 75,000-square-foot facility at The
Dalles, Ore., for example, relies on hydroelectric energy.
Last year, Google announced plans to build a wind-powered data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. And it recently
entered into a deal to buy wind power for the next 20 years
to power its data centers. “Companies are increasingly
looking for locations that have a greater opportunity for
ambient air exchange,” Davis says.
Others are turning to water collection systems mounted
on roofs and adjacent areas to facilitate evaporative cooling.
Some are relying on fluorescent lighting and using motion
detectors to switch lights on and off as needed in data centers. Still other organizations are turning to LED lighting
to lower costs further. Although lighting pales in cost and
consumption to the electricity used by servers and other
data center equipment, “a lot of small gains add up to big
gains,” PwC’s Singh notes.
In the end, experts say that IT must play a larger role in
the greening of the enterprise. By adopting green technology
and practices and looking for ways to leverage technology
across the enterprise, it’s possible to reduce the environmental footprint while providing green IT solutions that
drive further business gains. Initiatives such as data center
consolidation, green building techniques, advanced cooling
strategies and virtualization help an enterprise tap into cost
savings while creating a positive public image.
“Organizations must put sustainability at the center of
their business philosophy,” PlanNet’s Davis concludes. “It’s
no longer a fringe issue. Today, it’s part of running an IT
department and a business effectively.”
For More Information
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star Data Center
Energy Efficiency Initiatives: Provides comprehensive
information about Energy Star systems, as well as benchmarking data and ratings. tinyurl.com/6dg4n2
U.S. Department of Energy, Saving Energy in Data
Centers: Offers information, case studies, software and
Eco-IT Monitor: Provides a calculator for estimating
annual data center energy costs and carbon footprint.
The Green Grid: A comprehensive resource for energy-saving initiatives, with white papers, calculators, guides,
and other tools and resources. tinyurl.com/dy75tf
HP Energy & Resource Efficiency Services: Offers
resources and information about green initiatives.
IBM Green IT Energy Efficiency Solutions: Includes
Webcasts, videos, case studies and resources for green
Uptime Institute: Provides research reports and
other resources relating to data center design.
How do you cut costs without cutting results?
BASELINE JULY/AUGUST 2010