Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Capgemini - Green IT Report

Capgemini recently put out a Green IT Report, subtitled 'The Computer Equipment Lifecycle Survey', which is primarily a view on the green credentials of the company's main technology partners, looking at product lifecycle from manufacture through to disposal. The company asked Cisco, EMC, Dell, Google, HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems to participate and of these Cisco declined, EMC, HP, IBM and Sun responded in full to the survey (Google was assessed on the basis of a service provider to Capgemini) but no response was received in time from Dell.

The companies were asked a number of questions in five areas; manufacturing, transport and logistics, ownership and operation, disposal and corporate social responsibility. The responses were scored co-operatively by Capgemini and the partner organisation. To cut a long story short, of the maximum score of 1,500, HP came out on top with 1,337, followed by Sun (1,258), IBM (1,214) and EMC (1,179). You can read the details here.

As well as the evaluations, the report also had a list of Ten Steps to Green IT, which was quite interesting. Much of it is those common sense aspects that have appeared in many such lists, e.g. have an active CSR function, benchmark your carbon footprint, assess data centre PUE, etc. Pretty basic stuff. It gets more interesting at the last three points, though, which I think are more astute:

8. 'Understand that more IT does not mean less green'. It makes the point that IT can (and should) help reduce carbon emissions in the rest of the organisation, rather than the knee-jerk reaction in some companies of just cutting the emissions caused by IT itself.

9. 'Take a position on new technology'. Easier to said than done, but you have to start somewhere. Saas, cloud computing, thin-client, SOA can all have an effect on the environmental impact of IT operations and companies should at least consider their potential use.

10. 'Consider enlisting help'. Capgemini includes a list of types of organisations that can help, including benchmarking organisations, government bodies, industry bodies, consultants, etc. What's refreshing is that Capgemini doesn't itself claim to be the source of all answers, unlike some of its rivals, and something you will have heard me complain about before. Ten out of ten for that.

© The Green IT Review

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