Green IT: Power to Save Money – One of the easiest way to reduce IT’s footprint on the Environment is simply to reduce its electricity consumption. An area often over-looked is the fleet of Desktop Computers. Follow these 4 easy steps and you’ll be reducing your energy bills and lower carbon emissions, with a return on investment of less than 8 months.
Green IT: 3 Reasons Why You should Care
Why should you care about Green IT? Here are 3 reasons why you cannot ignore it:
- Corporate Social Responsibility objectives: Most organisations are now much more transparent (example here) and committed to their Corporate Social Responsibility objectives to positively impact their communities and impact on the Environment. This means as IT leaders you need to take the lead and contribute towards those objectives!
- Government Targets & Incentives to save: Most countries are now implementing incentives to achieve their Government targets to reducing their national footprint on the Environment. This usually takes the form of grants or tax relief when Organisations demonstrate their contributions. Reporting on PC Power Savings directly responds to those Government targets.
- Common-sense bottom-line objectives: In a globally competitive market, it is simply common-sense for Organisations to not only have Corporate Responsibility Objectives but also make savings on its power consumption. IT has a direct role to play here and contribute to the Organisations’ financial performance.
Step1: You Should Take the Lead and Create Mandate:
In most cases, you should be able to align to existing Environmental Policy initiatives to benefit from its momentum and resources:
Who will solve the problem? As IT leaders, you should take the lead on Power Savings initiatives for the Organisation as unlike Facilities Management who most often pay for the Electricity bills, you are the only ones with the tools to deliver on those Savings objectives.
Who will own this budget? While the Electricity bills are most often paid for by the local Facilities Management in each country, you need to create the mandate and obtain resources for a global budget to deliver those Power Savings objectives.
Who will claim the benefits? Your organisation! Most such initiatives are usually slow to start due to the cross-functions nature of the business case to deliver on such Power Savings initiatives. IT alone cannot deliver or claim on its benefits. That’s why you need to create a Green Champions team.
Step2: Your Green Champions team
To deliver on the PC Power Savings initiatives, you’ll be working cross-functions, cross-borders. That means you will need strong support from Executive Sponsors. Here are some of the key people you’ll want on your Green Champions team:
- CIO, to provide the leadership on this initiative,
- Sustainability officers, your key allies to whom you’ll be providing the results to usually include in the Organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility reports and to National Government schemes,
- Facilities leadership, to provide you with all relevant Energy tariffs and contacts from each country,
- Finance & procurement, to help you build the business case and ROI analysis,
- Communications team to help you promote the initiative and get the message to staff about the new transparent, impact-free solution.
Step3: Key Features of your PC Power Management plan and solution
Your PC Power Management initiative simply needs to feature 3 areas of investment:
- Consume less! Review your hardware catalog and buy hardware that consumes less! In the last 2 years, most hardware (desktops and laptops) have gained nearly 20% efficiency.
- Wow factor! Replace all your old screens with LCDs (even larger ones!), you’ll gain around 30-40% on electricity consumption and delight staff.
- Benefit from down-time! Put in place company-wide power management policies for all PC for payback usually within 6-8 months, considering the following:
- Measure a baseline (user profiles, type of users, assets inventory),
- Simply turn-off when not in use but still allow for PC maintenance windows,
- Definition of not in use (not just mouse/keyboard checks but also low CPU activity) and Off,
- Reporting for adjustment to local requirements (working hours for example, currencies and cost of kWh in each country varies greatly!) and ROI/CSR/Tax-credits reporting,
Step4: Celebrate & Communicate your Success!
Follow the approach above and you’ll be on your way to success, reducing your organisation’s power consumption, its carbon footprint and directly contributing to the bottom-line!
Make sure you communicate and celebrate for example at your Organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility awards or recognition program as well as externally: this is likely to influence other organisations to consider their own Green IT initiatives!
Have you already implemented PC Power Savings policies? What results did you get? Share your good tips below!
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