Now apply these realities to other green technologies. From a pure environmental perspective (as well as a raw economic perspective), electronic documents are better than printer documents in that the former don't require an investment in paper, ink, or printers. But in reality, an end-user may be able to accomplish more with a physical copy of a document, thanks to the ability to easily carry it around and scribble notes. Further, some people legitimately yield more information from reading a paper document in their hands than reading from a monitor. Similarly, there are instances where a CEO can accomplish more flying to another state to meet with employees or shareholders face to face, rather than interacting with them via conference call, videoconference, or even teleconference.
All in all, "The Energy and Climate Change Impacts of Different Music Delivery Methods" is an important report. It adds credibility to the argument that dematerialization can significantly reduce the environmental impact of certain business practices, while almost certainly reducing costs in the process. At the same time, the report serves as a reminder that end-users and customers alike still value the experience of physically interacting with CDs, printer materials, and other human beings. Sacrificing productivity or other business benefits for the sake of environmental stewardship doesn't always make sense, and before investing in any green technology, it's essential to weigh all of those factors.
The definition of green
The term green IT gets batted around a lot -- but what does it really mean?
Telepresence shatters communication barriers
From high-end suites to tabletop codecs, telepresence systems create a near face-to-face experience at increasingly affordable prices
Green demands trickle down the supply chain
If you want to sell to the big-name IT vendors, you must inject green into your products -- and your practices