image sourceNASA Goddard Space Flight Center. "Earth from Space." 17 October 2000. Flickr.

Our Business IT Earth Day Review

April 20, 2012

Earth Day is for business technology, too.

It’s that green time of year again, and no, we’re not talking about leprechauns or shamrocks. This Sunday, April 22, is the 42nd annual celebration of Earth Day. Rallies will be held, trees planted, and speeches made. It’s a time to reflect on what steps we can all take o improve the care of our shared planet.

Here are some ideas we’ve found to get your business thinking about how to green up your Information Technology (IT).

Go Cloud

Yes, you already hear about the cloud constantly, but there’s a green effect to this tech darling you may not be aware of. As this infographic from our partner Rackspace explains, cloud technology can lead to improved energy efficiency as more data processing gets housed under one roof. Power, equipment, and spacial resources can be shared, and server utilization is maximized to an optimal usage.

There are still challenges on this front, with Greenpeace making waves just this week with its criticism of some top-named cloud suppliers on the state of data center energy usage. Still, the newest data centers being built are marking continual improvements in energy efficiency. Yahoo got high marks from Greenpeace for its building design that makes maximum use of outside air for cooling, Facebook’s Swedish facility is hydro-powered, and Apple’s newest data center (to be built nearby in Maiden, NC) has aims to be the “greenest data center ever built.”

If your business has been considering a move to the cloud anyway, know that the savings won’t just be in your pocket: they’ll be shared by Mother Earth as well.

Be Efficient

Speaking of savings, every company could stand to improve its bottom line in the present financial climate. So what’s an easy strategy to make your business IT greener, both environmentally and economically? Efficiency. It’s just one word with a big impact. Here are some ways your business can become more energy efficient:

  • Take an inventory of the computers and other hardware your business uses. Are there better, more efficient models on the market now? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade.
  • How about other aspects of your office, such as light sources and break room appliances? This time of year lots of stores host “green” sales events. Take a look into government subsidies for green improvements as well.
  • If you’re fortunate enough to have a big window in your office, use natural light on a sunny day instead of flicking on the light switch. Also, look at how many devices you have drawing power. Is your phone still plugged in even after it’s fully charged?
  • When possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator. You’ll be helping your health alongside the planet’s.

Get Involved

There are plenty of ways to get your business spruced up for Earth Day, and to save all year round. But it’s not something anyone can do alone. We at Cii coordinate with our partners to make the business IT world a better place, and we’re proud to work with some great corporations that have made big commitments to the environment. You can check out some of their initiatives (and get some ideas of things your business can do on a smaller scale) at their websites: Dell, Lenovo, and Microsoft.

Your local community might have some green works your business can take part in. Check into discounts your city might offer for efficiency, and be on the lookout for technology recycling events. The city of Raleigh is hosting several events for Earth Day this weekend, which you can find on Triangle.com.

We’d love to hear what your business, especially your IT department, is doing to go green this Earth Day. Leave a comment, or contact us on one of our social media channels.