Deploy Green IT


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The presentation is based on a minibook I wrote for ICAEW on using IT to green the organisation, not just IT itself.
It was presented as a webinar on October 15 2009

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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  • Freeform Dynamics is a research and analysis firm which focuses on how organisations buy and use IT and related systems. I’m responsible for collaborative and green aspects of IT. Not just green IT but how IT can help the business with its own environmental initiatives.
  • And this is the book ICAEW IT Faculty member s and subscriber get a free a copy. Others can get them from the ICAEW shop
  • Our research into companies’ attitude to green showed that it wasn’t high on the priority list. All organisations are being squeezed by three major forces: finance, regulation and reputation. The impact of each will vary by type of organisation. Some way behind these three, but probably creeping up the list, are pressures exerted by employees and other stakeholders. Staff retention/preventing churn for example. You’ll notice that ‘green’ or ‘sustainability’ doesn’t get a look in as a driver. It does, though, have an impact on all four pressures: Green measures can save money and make money. Less energy means lower bills and the avoidance of regulatory penalties. It can improve your reputation making customers more willing to buy from you – and that applies in business to business as well as business to consumer situations. Newsweek recently promoted the greenness of IT companies HP, IBM, Dell and Intel. Hmmm. Employees do like to feel good about the organisation they work for.
  • Here is a simple reminder of the relationship of IT, business and green measures. IT can change the way it runs itself. Energy can be cut in different ways: virtualisation, consolidation, free cooling. That’s the positive impact. It can also be used to help improve the organisation’s green credentials, but it will take computer power to do this, so it’s a negative for IT but a positive for business. Obviously the savings have to be bigger, otherwise don’t do it. The Climate Group’s ‘Smart 2020 report’ suggests that the overall impact of IT will be to save emissions five times larger than that of IT itself. This includes large scale infrastructure projects such as power transmission. It doesn’t all apply to you. We’ll cover the more down to earth stuff today.
  • We can’t cover everything in twenty minutes, so we’re focusing on four things that affect all companies. Cutting transport: Reduce transport and travel, like this webinar: we didn’t travel to London, we’re all at our desks. Meeting tools and fleet logistics – one parcels company in USA plan routes to minimise left (across traffic) turns. Cutting the use of consumables: They carry an environmental debt anyway. Printer ink and paper. Optimising IT itself: Audit, reduce – not use power (online documents, practical things which help the bottom line too), virtualise, maybe even cloud, purchase, disposal. Extend user, give to charity, avoid landfill. Maybe thin client. And keeping tabs on what’s going on. This helps you track your progress as well as report it as and when required by the authorities – increasingly from next year. Carbon footprint, Lifecycle (from mining to delivery to your customer) – hard but software is available and external services like Trucost may be able to help. Some accounting packages contain emissions accounting and this is likely to grow. Power metering is a simple and effective way to log what’s going on.
  • Involve staff : They’re generally ahead of the company. They have kids and grandchidren and wonder what sort of world they’re leaving. They’re willing. Get them into a ‘switch off’ habit. PCs at night, power to chargers (it doesn’t do much - a phone charger in 24 hours is like one second of driving) but it doesn’t hurt to think ‘save energy’ at every turn. Don’t ask them to discriminate. Use less of anything – petrol, air miles, paper, ink – it’s another mindset thing. Necessary? Cycle, walk, train, drive – think & make right decisions. Delay the purchase of new stuff – computers, cars etc – it dodges the generally huge environmental harm involved in manufacture, and it saves money of course. Less use = last longer.. Windows 7 a power reversal? Base purchases on needs not desires. We all want screaming laptops but do we need them? Not for word processing, most spreadsheet and presentations. Substitute virtual for real. And finally, related to some of the above, do things virtually not physically. Had EDI for years. Online meetings, XML document exchange, scanning documents on entry to the workflow, anything that reduces consumption will improve costs too. No photocopying, envelopes, rushing around with bits of paper.
  • Behaviour is at the heart of people doing things. I mentioned getting staff on board is important. But it starts higher than that. The board has to be committed. If it doesn’t lay out its environmental strategy clearly and provide support – possibly through departmental or site champions (‘go to’ people), then it will turn into an ad hoc and variably effective set of staff initiatives. Make ‘sustainability’ part of the employee’s thinking, top to bottom of the organisation. “How can we improve” should always be on their minds. Staff come up with great ideas, rather than funnel them into a suggestion box where they’re filtered and judgement passed down, why not expose them to others through social tools. Suggestions can flourish or die quickly through peer review. It’s a rapid and helpful way to move forward. Sign up to helpful websites: Act on CO2, Carbon Trust etc (loads of others). A list at the end of the book and in the notes of the last three slides. If taking sustainability seriously embed sustainability in job descriptions Finally, cut waste bins, have recycling bins, make printers less convenient
  • Here are some worthwhile but more expensive and more complicated to implement things: Telepresence: like sitting in the same room – cut senior executives’ flying and accommodation costs, liberate time and maybe save their marriages. Remote monitoring: Don’t have to send people out in vans. Cuts routine maintenance visits – vending kiosks tell you, reservoirs, storage tanks... Virtualise: I’ve mentioned it. Make servers do more work. Cuts overall count or saves buying kit. Cloud: pressure for energy in Docklands, Run elsewhere? Free cooling: suck in air from outside in the cooler months – less strain on chiller. Re-use waste heat: from data centre. E.g. space, swimming pool, car park... Centralise management of networked estate: switch off/on, print, (divert run to where needed), thin client (cut down PC, long life, software runs in datacentre)? Manage the supply chain: place demands in RFPs, record in purchase system (suppliers’ own chain info’ – use Trucost if not directly available...
  • Going back to the four pressures, let’s see how we’re getting on Finance: you’ve seen plenty of ways of cutting costs Regulations: better to be in control than have it forced on you at the last minute. (Always more expensive to tackle then.) Reputation: you will attract more business from customers that care about sustainability matters. B2B and B2C. And, with your staff, you are almost certainly pushing against an open door. The overall end result of everything I’ve talked about is a greener, more compliant organisation that’s saving money and attracting new business into the bargain. Good luck! I hope you enjoy the book.
  • Deploy Green IT

    1. 1. Deploying Green IT in your organisation David Tebbutt Freeform Dynamics Ltd +44 1895 677845 [email_address] 1
    2. 2. The publication Free to members of, and subscribers to, the IT Faculty. Others can buy it at the ICAEW shop. 2
    3. 3. Organisations are being squeezed
    4. 4. IT’s environmental impact 4
    5. 5. Areas for attention <ul><li>Transport </li></ul><ul><li>Consumables </li></ul><ul><li>IT </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement </li></ul>
    6. 6. Quick wins <ul><li>Involve staff </li></ul><ul><li>Switch off </li></ul><ul><li>Use less </li></ul><ul><li>Use for longer </li></ul><ul><li>Needs not desires </li></ul><ul><li>Bits not atoms </li></ul>
    7. 7. Behaviour <ul><li>Board commitment + champions </li></ul><ul><li>Part of employee thinking (like ‘quality’) </li></ul><ul><li>Use social tools for dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up to helpful websites </li></ul><ul><li>Embed sustainability in job descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Silent reminders (bins, printers) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Longer term wins <ul><li>Telepresence </li></ul><ul><li>Remote monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Virtualise (& cloud?) </li></ul><ul><li>Free cooling </li></ul><ul><li>Re-use waste heat </li></ul><ul><li>Central management (go thin?) </li></ul><ul><li>Manage supply chain </li></ul>
    9. 9. Conclusions <ul><li>Finance: you can make savings </li></ul><ul><li>Regulations: you can be ahead of the game </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation: you can hold your head high </li></ul><ul><li>Staff: they’ll willingly help </li></ul><ul><li>Good luck! </li></ul>
    10. 10. Thank you David Tebbutt Freeform Dynamics Ltd +44 1895 677845 [email_address] 10
    11. 11. 11 Access: Act On CO2: AMEE: BASDA Green Charter: ByeByeStandy: CA, ecoSoftware: Carbon Footprint: Carbon Trust: Links: 1 of 3
    12. 12. 12 Climate Futures: the economic, political, social and psychological consequences of climate change: ComputerAid: Cradle to Cradle: remaking the way we make things by Michael Braungart and William McDonough: Energy Star – energy efficient products and practices: EPEAT – desktop computers, notebooks and monitors with environmental attributes: Footprinter: GaBi Software: Links: 2 of 3
    13. 13. 13 Getting to Zero: defining corporate carbon neutrality: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Environmental Sustainability Dashboard: http:// PAS-2050 Guide: SimaPro: WWF: IT solutions that help business and the planet: Links: 3 of 3