There's a striking difference between the list of Green 15 winners from 2008 and 2009: In 2008, the list was dominated by companies in the tech industry, including EMC, HP, IBM, Fujitsu, NetApp, Sun, and Juniper. This year's honorees represent a far more diverse array of industries, with winners such as Procter & Gamble, Burt's Bees, the U.S. Navy, Con-Way Freight, GlaxoSmithKline, and California State University East Bay.
Indeed, green technology appears to be flourishing at organizations of all sizes around the globe, driven not only by good intentions and corporate social responsibility, but also business needs, such as cutting costs (electricity, fuel, paper, hardware refreshes, datacenter expansions, and travel) and boosting productivity.
Cost-cutting was certainly a takeaway for many of the leaders of this year's Green 15 projects, such as Nigel Saldanha, vice president of IT and CTO at HD Supply. The company invested in a host of green-tech initiatives, including virtualization, videoconferencing, and PC power management. "We eliminated outdated notions that corporate environmental responsibility translates to expense and low-impact results," Saldanha noted. "Our IT team's initiative demonstrates that we can take responsibility for our environmental impact while driving cost savings, greater efficiencies and significant positive impact to productivity and other operational needs."
Spread the word
The fact that green-tech projects can be a win-win proposition -- good for the planet and the bottom line -- is but one of the lessons to be gleaned from this year's lineup of Green 15 winners. Green 15 project leaders had other valuable lessons to share from the trenches as well.