Unless you are an extraterrestrial, you probably don’t want planet Earth to be reduced to an inhospitable wasteland. And you’ve probably heard that “going green” can greatly reduce the negative impact your business has on the environment. But times are tough. If your business is struggling to just stay afloat during a recession, how can you be expected to worry about the whole planet too?
There’s good news. Saving money and going green do not have to be mutually exclusive. Some green IT solutions actually help save you money while saving the earth at the same time.
Start with the easy stuff. Turning off PCs and monitors after business hours can save 40 percent on your electricity bill. That’s an obvious one. But did you also know you can set timer switches on your printers to automatically turn off when they aren’t in use? That’s less drain on the planet’s resources, and more money in your pocket.
If you drop your desktop printer altogether and switch to a multi-function device, you can have fewer electronic devices running in the office. If the printer is duplex, now you’re saving on paper too.
Data centers are a big area where green IT can create an impact. Server consolidation through virtualization can save on the cost to buy, maintain, administrate, and power multiple servers. At the same time, you’re using less energy and fewer physical resources to accomplish the same thing.
Salesforce.com had a study showing how cloud computing was 95 percent more carbon efficient when processing data than on-premises. This is because the cloud does not require the same hardware and resources as physical servers. Cloud computing saves money too, of course, with some estimates as much as 50 percent on hardware and 90 percent on management. In fact, a report by the Carbon Disclosure Project on how cloud computing may save businesses $12.3 billion annually by the year 2020.
An unnecessary hardware upgrade is also a wasteful and expensive practice. Instead of buying new hardware each year, you should question the business case of the upgrades. Avoidable hardware refreshes not only cost you more, but they waste time in staff retraining and other overheads involved.
If you do need new hardware, there are many affordable, energy efficient devices that will lower your overall consumption of electricity. As green initiatives increase in momentum, new energy-saving technologies are emerging every day.