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August 2009 | Volume 28 / Number 3
Special Focus

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Suppliers Going Green

By Brendan B. Read
Senior Contributing Editor

There are many products and services in the market that help buyers ´go green´: reduce energy consumption, air and water pollution, cut e-waste, and shrink the space they need for their businesses and homes. Yet what steps have suppliers taken to ensure that their processes: from manufacture/design to workplace practices, are also green?

Here are some of the responses from leading firms. All of them will be appearing on

Brad Herrington, Product Marketing Manager, Interactive Intelligence (

Interactive Intelligence does not employ any hazardous materials in the development of its software. All computer equipment deployed by Interactive Intelligence is disposed of and/or shipped according to the current laws governing such movement using commercial shippers.

going_greenOur employees and departments recycle aluminum, batteries, cardboard, disks, shipping pallets, paper waste, and toner cartridges. We also participate in an end-of-life computer disposal program and uses carbonless desktop products. To cut down on excessive waste, Interactive Intelligence offers employees and guests filtered ice and water in lieu of bottled water. Additionally, the company café and break rooms are stocked with non-disposable dishes, cups, and utensils, with plans.

Interactive Intelligence maintains an electronic communications environment by distributing company documents and notifications via e-mail, online portals and wiki postings. HR personnel files, forms, policies and procedures are stored electronically.

To reduce energy after hours, all Interactive Intelligence office buildings use set-back modes from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Facilities and Office Operations services maintain a consistent building temperature during office hours by operating most building thermostats. Automatic sensors for restroom faucets and stalls help conserve water usage.

Interactive Intelligence strives to select products and services from suppliers that reflect its eco-friendly initiatives and strives to choose cleaning products that have no negative impact on human health and the environment.

Sixty percent of our employees actively participate in external recycling programs, and more than 40 percent have purchased economy or fuel-efficient vehicles. Nearly 16 percent of employees carpool to work, and 75 percent have the ability to work remotely, further reducing carbon emissions from vehicle use.

Elizabeth Klingseisen, Large Enterprise Solutions Marketing, Contact Centers Siemens Enterprise Communications (

Since the 1990s, Siemens has embraced telecommuting for its knowledge workers. As IP technology has advanced and remote access has became more pervasive, Siemens continues to enhance our telecommuting portfolio by delivering solutions that make teleworkers more productive.

Out of 2,600 North American employees, Siemens Enterprise Communications provides complete remote worker service to approximately 500 workers, including an IP phone for their home office, and access to unified communications tools, including video and audio conferencing and other corporate tools, such as email and business applications.

By leveraging IP technology Siemens has seen a 70 percent reduction in the cost to support remote workers as well as significant productivity improvements. These 500 remote workers have collectively avoided the annual consumption of over 107,000 gallons of fuel and the associated 1,750 metric tons of carbon dioxide they would have produced while commuting.

In 1993, Siemens was among the first companies in the telecommunications industry to consider the environment in the design, manufacturing, deployment, and recycling of its enterprise equipment. We took this approach as a matter of corporate responsibility.

Since then, we have made great strides in lowering the capital and operating costs of our equipment by carefully evaluating the holistic product life cycle and total energy consumption of our solutions and components, and the business process efficiencies that our communications solutions provide. In addition, Siemens has embraced open standards to enable enterprise customers to mix interoperable, best-of-class components with both new and legacy systems.

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