There are a number of places where your business can explore environmentally friendly opportunities. While energy efficient light bulbs and ventilation is great, what about your IT? More and more companies understand the business value of green IT: It's no longer peoples' personal beliefs about the environment but practical business considerations that are driving sustainability initiatives at businesses of all sizes.
To that end, here are six strategies for businesses looking to go green:
- Implement power management -- Screen savers are a big power drain. Encourage your employees to configure their workstations to go to sleep after 10 minutes or so of inactivity. And remind them to shut their systems down at the end of the work day. (If you have a large number of employees, you can enforce power management across your network with software.)
- Change default print settings -- Simply ink and paper. If your office wastes a lot of paper printing unneeded text and graphics off the web, there's software that can take care of that, too.
- Buy energy efficient equipment -- Look for Energy Star (the government-sponsored rating system for efficient electronic appliances) and EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) ratings on equipment like desktops, laptops, servers, monitors and printers. Keep in mind, power supplies have their own rating system called 80 PLUS.
- Encourage telecommuting, teleconferencing and video-conferencing -- Cutting back on employee travel will drastically reduce your company's carbon foot print -- and the number of expense checks you have to write.
- Conduct energy audits of server rooms and data centers -- Experts generally agree that there are a couple of things that can be done in this area, namely: Raising the room temperature and plugging leaks. It often makes sense to bring someone in to conduct an energy audit.
- Virtualize and/or move to the Cloud -- Consolidating equipment through virtualization technology is a prime example of killing two birds with one stone. You can take it one step further by using a cloud service and sharing computing resources with other companies.