There has been plenty of talk recently about the need to appreciate the environmental impact of what we do in our day to day lives.
Much has been said on green taxes, renewable resources and being carbon-neutral, and 2007 is likely to be the year that green issues start to take hold in business.
Green is beginning to appear on the management radar. The challenge is how to promote a sound environmental policy while remaining competitive in the face of a torrent of new challenges and opportunities, not just in the UK, but in emerging markets and China.
So what is a green strategy and why is it so important to have one? Can IT make a difference? Can the CIO take charge of a green strategy?
Certainly, the IT department can start by taking small steps, such as configuring PCs, monitors and printers to power-down automatically when not in use. This can have a significant impact, but for a CIO to truly drive a green strategy, it is necessary to demonstrate tangible benefits to the business.
Ken Harvey, global CIO at HSBC, has gone as far as taking the bank's chief executive into a telepresence suite to demonstrate the effectiveness of videoconferencing as an alternative to flying to meetings (Interview: How to make money by going green).
This provided evidence of the potential for real monetary savings that would add to the bank's bottom line. The fact that videoconferencing has a small carbon footprint was a bonus in business terms.
Following this example, for 2007, IT directors should look to demonstrate leadership in environmental issues by investigating how green IT can add to the bottom line. It is a golden opportunity: save the planet and boost IT's reputation on the board.
Read article: Do you run a green machine?
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This was first published in January 2007