The green IT stars of 2010

InfoWorld's 2010 Green 15 Awards: Green-tech projects coupled with innovation and collaboration yield bountiful rewards

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State Street banks on sustainability
Engaging employees companywide enhances the payback of green IT investments

As a worldwide financial giant, State Street knows a little something about making sound investments. It turns out its expansive list of sustainability investments have indeed been money well spent, helping the company -- with 27,000 employees in 25 countries -- cut expenses and drive efficiency throughout its businesses operations.

"Green' is not merely an isolated program. To garner the greatest benefit, green thinking, measurement, and management should become a part of every solution," said Madge Meyer, executive vice president at State Street's global infrastructure services division. "We have assimilated our green initiatives into our infrastructure technology Blueprint, thereby ensuring that sustainability efforts complement and align with all of our business and technology initiatives. We also consider the environment in our standard technology planning process to help minimize our environmental impact from a worldwide perspective and support our corporate commitment to the communities in which we live and work."

State Street's green IT projects run a broad gamut. Through its Standardized Accelerated Virtualized Eco-Friendly (SAVE) storage initiative, the company has consolidated 47 Windows environments to four NAS subsystems within two datacenters for significant green savings. Virtualizing 50 percent of its servers resulted in energy savings totaling nearly $3 million per year, not to mention a 62 million pound reduction of CO2 emissions. The company has also consolidated its VoIP architecture, eliminating 84 percent of its distributed PBXes for further reduced energy consumption.

On the desktop, the company adopted PC power management, yielding energy savings of around $500,000 per year.

State Street's list of green-oriented initiatives continues with its Work from Home initiative, a program that "leverages our sophisticated technology platform to support remote access and telecommuting, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution," said Meyer. The program saves an estimated 880 metric tons of carbon per year.

The company has succeeded in saving money and reducing air travel through the use of telepresence and videoconferencing technologies as well. Teleconferencing has increased by 40 percent since its adoption, and State Street employees now average more than 1,400 virtual meetings daily.

Employee participation is critical for State Street's green initiatives to be effective. Fortunately, the company has found that workers want to be involved in the greater good. "The challenge is really about harnessing the passion that already exists in our workforce," said Meyer. "To accomplish this, we rely heavily on our Energy Efficiency Team, which is staffed by those employees within all levels of our organization who are already personally committed to sustainability. This dedicated team expands our green culture by leveraging and promoting regional efforts on a global scale to secure the broadest collaboration in managing our environmental footprint."

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