A couple of years ago, the whole green-tech trend might have been dismissed as a passing fad. "Sure, the environment is important," some CXOs no doubt said, "but I need to cut costs, not increase them with feel-good projects." That tide has turned steadily, though, and more companies are coming to realize that green tech isn't just important to their overall green aspirations; it's essential -- and a lot of companies are prepared to divert more dollars to green IT projects.
These are just some of the findings in a recent blind survey conducted by Symantec. The company hired a third party to interview decision makers at 1,052 companies worldwide to assess the pulse of the green-tech movement among businesses. That pulse is evidently strong. A full 92 percent of companies surveyed said that IT should play a very or extremely significant role in minimizing the company's overall environmental footprint. Further, 81 percent of companies surveyed have a green advocate in charge of coordinating all green activities; of those, most have an IT focus.
Further illustrating the importance of green tech among organizations, a full 97 percent of the respondents said that they're at least talking about a green IT strategy; just 1 percent dismissed green tech as unimportant. Drilling down, 67 percent are in the discussion or trial stages, whereas 30 percent have already implemented a strategy.
Why green tech?
The drivers behind these green-tech projects likely aren't too surprising if you've been tracking the successes of such initiatives, such as those of this year's InfoWorld Green 15 winners: 92 percent of the respondents identified reducing energy consumption as the reason for green IT projects and 91 percent pinpointed the need to cut cooling costs. Still, 87 percent of the respondents also identified the desire to "reduce polluting energy" (which I interpret as "energy that results in the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses"). It's a safe bet that U.S. companies are bracing for a carbon cap-and-trade program, which is driving that expressed desire to reduce polluting energy. In fact, 87 percent of the survey respondents said that government regulation to limit greenhouse gas emissions would be either an extremely important or a very important factor in their green-tech strategies.