Ericsson, for example, deployed a system for better managing repair services worldwide, which entailed not only deploying the technology but changing the way the company manages repairs at a broad level while getting users and partners to embrace it. On the other end of the spectrum, a relatively small company, Provider Enterprises, changed the way it managed its fleet of buses by closely monitoring how vehicles are used and hold drivers accountable for, say, breaking the fuel-wasting no-idle policy or using vehicles during off-hours.
Telepresence, videoconferencing, and remote collaboration tools have helped organizations slash their travel budgets and associated carbon emissions. One of this year's Green 15 winners, KPMG, transformed its travel policies and its travel portal to encourage employees to use telepresence whenever possible -- arguably a more effective tack than buying a couple of Halo studios and sending out an email to tell workers about it.
Dell, another one of this year's winners, demonstrated the effectiveness of marrying IT with monitoring, accountability, and cultural transformation. Working with end-users across the company, Dell was able to remove thousands of unused or redundant applications -- and unplug thousands of servers as a result. The project wasn't just a matter of rolling out, say, an application mapping system; it involved monitoring what computing resources departments were using and holding them financially accountable for their usage, providing incentive to cut back. Setting down that path in the first place necessitated a cultural shift at Dell that effectively inspired and urged the IT department to think beyond the usual IT role of "keep services running at all costs."
Plenty of other examples abound where IT paired with monitoring, accountability, and rethinking can drive significant green change. Will it really help cut global carbon emissions by 7.8 fewer gigatons worldwide come 2020? Who knows? But it is certainly helping companies slash costs and significantly reduce their own carbon footprints right now, in 2010.
This story, "GreenNet 2010: IT can cut global carbon emissions by 7.8 gigatons," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in green IT and read more of Ted Samson's Sustainable IT blog at InfoWorld.com.