When Are SLAs going to list Green as a requirement?

I had an informal meeting with a Distribution Logistics executive.  It was fun trading distribution stories of shipping things in interesting ways around the world.  Distribution logistics was an area I developed interest and expertise at while at HP, and believe it or not Apple Computer recruited me from HP to work on their distribution system, and I was escorted out the door the day I said I took a job at Apple Computer.  When I left Apple to go to Microsoft as a TrueType font expert, escorting me out the door was a given.

One of the good lessons I learned working on distribution is to think of things as boxes and the value of the boxes.  Don't get attached to the products, they come and go, the important thing was to figure out how to move boxes efficiently and quickly. Working on IT systems in many ways are information distribution logistics systems.

One of the interesting Green discussions we had is one of the businesses this executive owns is a dozen executive hotels for corporations. Corporations have adding Green factors as part of the requests. How many things do you have to do to be Green. He's talked with his maintenance staff, and they've installed compact fluorescent light bulbs, and looked at list of other things to do, making ROI calculations. The problem is being Green is not a binary thing, it is a commitment, but some people are treating it is a purchasing criteria. 

After thinking about this executive's situation, I would recommend that he first do an inventory for those things he can promote as Green right now, then after creating the customer Green marketing document, see how many are satisfied. You could set your staff off on thinking of Green projects, but you need to be prepared to educate people how to think in the big picture of whether their green idea is really green or not. If not careful, this can be a demoralizing task as employees are frustrated their ideas are not adopted. This is reminiscent of the employee suggestion box, but Green can introduce a fanatical treehugging factor and people are highly motivated to make a difference.

Be careful, and watch out when Green gets added to IT requirements, it is only a matter of time before it shows up.

See http://greenm3.typepad.com/green_m3_blog/2007/11/a-green-data-ce.html for more about making a commitment vs. binary.