Power of Green Sidebar: How Green Is Your Company?
Computer hardware manufacturer IBM Corp. (IBM) and research firm Aberdeen Group, a division of Harte-Hanks Inc. (HHS), have developed an online assessment tool that allows companies to compare their Green IT initiatives with those of other companies of similar size, says Ron Kline, IBM’s director of global marketing for general business (small and medium business). According to Aberdeen, the assessment tool allows companies of all sizes — from fewer than 100 employees to more than 5,000 — to rate their Green IT performances against those of industry peers.
In the Aberdeen Green IT Assessment and ROI Calculator, questions focus on three areas: energy efficiency, virtualization and collaboration. By completing the assessment questions, participants receive a detailed scorecard that identifies and prioritizes future Green IT investments and that shows how they can improve current green practices and compliance with government mandates, says David Hatch, senior vice president and general manager for Aberdeen.
These steps may include the virtualization of physical servers to save floor space and cooling costs in data centers, as well as collaborating in online meetings to save on travel-related costs, Hatch explains. Participants can enter information about the level and cost of energy within their data centers and compare results with those of their peers. They can also benchmark the costs associated with travel and meetings versus those of other Aberdeen survey respondents, he says. “A sustainability policy is good for business from an IT point of view because you can drive costs out,” Kline says.
“It’s more than just a bottom-line measurement that companies care about,” Hatch adds. “Corporate social responsibility is tied to these initiatives and affects brand awareness in the marketplace.” Green IT investments can also affect recruiting, he says. “Do you want to work for a company that is a bad corporate citizen?” Hatch asks. “Not if you’re an aware person.”