BusinessWeek Summarizes Green IT Corporate Strategies

Business week summarizes recent reports from Gartner, Forrester, McKinsey in one article. It starts with an attention getting paragraph.

At the recent World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, 20 sessions focused on environmental issues. On Jan. 24 a group of top guns at leading technology companies, including Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, Dell (DELL) founder and CEO Michael Dell, Cisco Systems (CSCO) CEO John Chambers, and Intel (INTC) Chairman Craig Barrett, met to talk about the possibility of coordinating their efforts to pursue more sustainable practices. Then, on Feb. 5, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced it had surpassed its goals for recycling e-waste: Globally, it recycled nearly 250 million pounds of hardware and print cartridges in 2007—a 50% increase over the previous year. And it announced a new goal: to reuse 2 billion pounds of products by the end of 2010.

And summarizes the reports as follows:

Whereas Forrester and Gartner's reports concentrated on green IT, the McKinsey report focuses on a broader sense of energy efficiency, to include office buildings as well as devices and products. The authors argue that implementing such energy efficiencies could offset 85% of projected energy demands by 2030. That's considerably more impact than increasing fuel efficiency in vehicles, replacing industrial equipment and industrial processes that are not energy efficient, planting forests and improving soil, or shifting toward renewable energy sources. Citing projections from the Energy Dept., the report's authors state that overall energy use in commercial environments is predicted to rise at 1.6% each year for the next 22 years. The energy used in offices full of PCs and power-guzzling devices is expected to grow at twice that rate.

What each of the three reports share is statistics that make it clear reducing expenses is the leading reason corporations are seeking more eco-friendly practices. Forrester's report, for instance, states that 55% of those surveyed see reducing their energy-related operating expenses as the main reason for pursuing more sustainable IT operations—above "doing the right thing for the environment," the top motivator for 50% of those polled. In the Gartner report the authors estimate that "potential power cost and CO2 emission reductions of 50% are available" by better managing the power usage of PCs, monitors, and printers—for instance, simply encouraging employees to turn them off.