4. Measurement tools are critical to green-tech success. If your datacenter cooling systems are running several degrees cooler than they need to, or if a rack of servers is on the brink of overheating, there's no way of knowing without taking measurements. For example, Hewlett-Packard can track the state of its datacenter in Bangalore from Palo Alto, Calif., thanks to the installation of thousands of smart sensors. Meanwhile, thanks to the efforts of organizations such as The Green Grid, companies have valuable metrics with which to calculate the efficiency of their facilities, a critical starting and ending point for a green-tech action plan.
5. Green IT requires input from outside the IT department. One of the valuable lessons gleaned by the leader of EMC's datacenter project was to make friends with the facilities team. Indeed, at many companies, the IT department has no clue how much energy its operation are using -- nor necessarily how much power there is available for a future project. That's something facilities can often help with. Similarly, as Juniper worked to virtualize applications used by various departments, the company created teams of reps from those non-tech departments participate in planning, thus easing the project's impact on business operations.
6. Clean energy is a complement to green tech. If you've been looking at the energy bills at your company over the years, you've very likely noticed the figures swelling at an alarming rate. Depending on where you live in the world, you've felt the sting of brownouts of unreliable sources of electricity, the lifeblood of datacenters and desktops. Hence, investments in clean-tech projects such as Fujitsu's hydrogen cell generator -- or even the alternative charging methods for the OLPC's low-power laptops -- can bring a lot of value.
We applaud this year's winners, and we thank them for the valuable lessons they've shared while making their operations more sustainable -- and the world a little greener in the process.