I recently moved from a small apartment in Oakland to a new house in Sacramento. The cat and I are adjusting quite well, thank you, though for about one month, I was without a kitchen. Or a water heater. Or downstairs flooring. It may not have been the best-laid renovation plan.
I do have new kitchen appliances, which spent quite some time looming largely and uselessly off to the side of the future kitchen. They're very shiny, which is nice, and they're Energy Star certified, of course
I say "Of course," because in this day and age, Energy Starred fridges and stoves and the like are incredibly easy to come by. Plus, they come with little tags that tell you how much you'll save in energy bills per year. Oh, and the local utility will give me money for buying them. So how could I go wrong investing in a green kitchen?
Alas, for IT, it's not nearly so easy being green. Swapping out a fridge isn't as quick, straight-forward, or nondisruptive as swapping out a server rack or farm. Determining the potential long-term savings for a bunch of new laptops isn't as simple of figuring out how much you'll save with a new stove (it's right there on the tag). Deciding where to place the dishwasher is pretty much a no-brainer whereas figuring out how to set up your server racks to maximize energy efficiency can be exceedingly complex.
In fact, it's likely that you, or whoever runs your business, has seemingly more important things on the brain than developing a strategy for a greener, more energy-efficient operation: boosting sales; keeping the network secure and running; and figuring out who's been stealing Hot Pockets from the Energy Star fridge in the break room. Perhaps you’re not sure where to begin. Or perhaps you're not even convinced that going green -- or greener -- is a worthwhile endeavor, or something you can really afford.
Well, let's explore the question -- or rather some answers to the question -- of why going green should matter to you in the first place.
1. Going green really can save you money. For many organizations, that benefit may well be the foremost argument for adopting more eco-friendly practices. Less energy consumption means lower bills -- and here’s the kicker: You're likely burning (or cooling) away thousands of dollars each year paying for energy that's really not contributing to your bottom line.
One of the biggest culprits: cooling costs for the datacenter. In fact, by 2010 IDC predicts that companies will be spending an additional 70 cents per dollar invested in a new server. That's up from 50 cents on the dollar in 2005 and 21 cents per buck in 2000. You'll certainly want to prepare as those costs creep up.
It doesn't end there: Waste abounds at organizations, and research has found that companies that work to reduce their environmental impact tend to perform better than their counterparts.