In today’s always-on world, we are all using more technology. Chances are, you rely on several devices—smartphones, notebooks, tablets, and PCs. You’re also probably connecting to more servers to access more apps, and using more storage to house all the information you need to access.
Our appetite for technology is likely to continue unabated because, simply put, we like it. It helps us runs our businesses better, work more productively, stay in touch with friends, and get through holiday shopping more quickly. However, our increasing reliance on technology has environmental consequences. From devices to data centers, technological products require metals, minerals, wood products, chemicals, and energy.
Unfortunately, we are not using these resources in a sustainable way. A case in point is our handling of e-waste: just 27% of the e-waste generated in the U.S. in 2010 was recycled. Consider also the fact that most servers run at utilization rates of 25% or less, but require just as much energy as if it they were being used at 100% capacity. This means that when a server is only performing about a quarter of the work that it ‘s capable of, it still uses the same amount of power as if it were operating at full tilt.
As I discussed in the first post of this two-part series, Dell’s Green IT Growth Path: Paving the Way for SMBs, both technology vendors and consumers have an important role to play in curbing the negative environmental impact of technology. In this post, I discuss how Dell is raising the bar yet again, and how SMBs can follow suit.
Dell has been recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability for many years. Last month, it significantly upped its commitment when it announced its 2020 Legacy of Good Plan. Among the 21 corporate responsibility goals outlined in the plan, Dell has set 12 goals specific to environmental sustainability. Building on existing initiatives, these 12 environmental goals focus on three areas: reducing the environmental impact of company operations, driving social and environmental responsibility in the industry and supply chain, and promoting technology’s role in addressing environmental challenges.
Specifically, Dell’s ambitious goals include plans to:
“OK,” you may be thinking. “Dell is a big company and a major technology producer, so its strong environmental commitment can have a major impact. But for me as an SMB—using technology, not creating it—what role do I have in all this? And why should I bother?”
The answer is: every business has a role, and reasons, to go green. Most businesses waste not only environmental resources, but money and time as well. Often, these are resources that could be invested in developing new products or services, or to hire and train employees. In fact, even if you aren’t a tree hugger, it makes good business sense to green your IT environment and culture.
No matter the size of your business or where you’re starting from, you can take steps to go green and save green. For example:
Technology vendors such as Dell are leading the charge to design server, storage and client devices that consume less energy, build and package computers with eco-friendly materials, and provide recycling programs to reduce ewaste.
But creating a sustainable business isn’t just for big business. Everyone needs to think about the environmental impact of technology, and how they can put green technologies and practices in place to contribute to environmental sustainability. As an SMB, you can start taking steps today—not only to reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but to gain significant business and IT benefits as well.
This is the last in a two-part series sponsored by Dell that discusses why green IT is important, and how SMBs can develop and benefit from their own green IT initiatives.
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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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