Green-technology projects flourished at organizations of all sizes in 2008, a trend that, at first blush, might seem counterintuitive. Given the economic hardships companies are facing, you might expect that projects seemingly tied to feel-good corporate social responsibility endeavors would take a backseat to initiatives aimed at bolstering the bottom line.
However, as this year's crop of Green 15 award winners demonstrates, the rewards of green-technology projects are far from limited to noble goals such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing landfill buildup, preserving trees, and the like. Rather, organizations leveraging green tech are realizing gains in efficiency, productivity, and cost savings. These business benefits are key drivers behind many green IT projects -- sometimes overriding good environmental intentions.
That's no reason to discount the environmental merits of any of the projects that appear in the 2009 Green 15 winners' list or any of the other countless green-tech initiatives being pursued by companies across the globe. Whatever the rationale for a green IT project, one fact is clear. The outcome of a green-tech project is generally win-win: a healthier planet and a healthier bottom line.
This year's winners are, in alphabetical order:
- Aramark cuts print waste with better devices, software
- Burt's Bees undergoes green IT makeover
- California Academy of Sciences reaps efficiencies through network convergence
- California State University East Bay turns to green tech to fend off power crisis
- Con-way Freight slashes annual fuel consumption by 4.9 million gallons
- Digital Realty Trust sets new standard for green datacenter design
- GlaxoSmithKline sheds nearly 6 tons of e-waste
- HD Supply achieves ecodreams through array of green-tech initiatives
- Intel finds significant savings by pushing the limits of free cooling
- Niagara Catholic School District turns to e-docs to cut paper and transport costs
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory proves just how smart a smart grid can be
- Procter & Gamble finds a green alternative to travel in telepresence
- Raytheon reaps green success from sowing sustainability seeds
- U.S. Navy enlists virtualization to supercharge sprawling intranet
- U.S. Postal Service taps optimization software to slash transportation costs