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August 2007 | Volume 10 / Nuber 8
The VoIP Authority

Going Green

One of the most significant changes sweeping the technology landscape is the greening of the industry. The green movement is going mainstream, and in many cases the benefit to the environment is ironically taking a secondary position to the main interest of businesses, which is the making of green of a different color. That's right, today's green technology movement is as much about making money as it is about being socially responsible and kind to the environment.

For our part, TMC has launched a green initiative of our own. Our Green Technology World Web site ( was launched with the goal of helping environmentally conscious business leaders choose environmentally friendly solutions. The site is designed to educate readers about technologies, essential issues, and trends that enable companies to operate more efficiently, thereby creating a positive impact on both their businesses and the environment.

The green technology movement has spawned several organizations who have pledged their support for the environment.

The Green Grid

One such organization, The Green Grid, is a consortium of big players on the IT scene seeking to improve energy efficiency in data centers around the globe. According to that organization's “About” page on their website, (

“The Green Grid takes a broad-reaching approach to data center efficiency focusing on data center “power pillars” that span the gamut of technology, infrastructure and processes present in today's data center environments.”

The consortium's Board of Directors member companies are a veritable Who's Who of technology: AMD, APC, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, Sun Microsystems, and VMware are working together to engage in research, drive standards, and educate the marketplace.

Climate Savers Computing Initiative

Just this past June, Intel, Google and over 25 other organizations joined forces in pledging their support for the environment.

Together with the likes of Yahoo!, NEC, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and others, the group announced the formation of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (, an organization whose stated goal is to:

“…save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting aggressive new targets for energy-efficient computers and components, and promoting the adoption of energy-efficient computers and power management tools worldwide.”

According to the Climate Savers Computing Initiative website, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half the power delivered to it, and this waste increases the cost of powering a computer, as well as increases the emission of greenhouse gases.

Among the goals of the new environmentally friendly alliance, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative hopes that by 2010, reductions in wasted energy and the adoption of eco-friendly methods of producing PCs will help lower greenhouse gas emissions by up to 54 million tons per year.

Green Technology Initiative

The Green Technology Initiative is similar in nature to The Green Grid, but with a distinctly British feel. The group was organized to help businesses in the United Kingdom reduce the carbon footprint of their IT systems in step with a concomitant government mandated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions totaling 20% by 2010.

According to the company's website,

“The Initiative is a non-commercial organisation providing the business community with free advice and information. We are supported by a wide range of Industry leaders whose experience and advice in all areas will be invaluable in achieving our aims.”

There is one particular statement that the group makes online that sums up my own feelings regarding the green technology movement. “Most businesses cannot just decide to 'go green' - after all, their job is to make money for the shareholders, not save the planet. Our job is to help them do both.”

So it is entirely plausible to do right by Mother Earth and make a few dollars while doing so.

And yet, challenges remain. As industry-wide recognition of the need to go green accelerates, companies are realizing that it's one thing to get behind an environmentally friendly green initiative; it's quite another challenge to actually do something about it.

A recent survey published by the Green Technology Initiative found that the overwhelming majority of British businesses (95%) believe that reducing our carbon footprint is critical to an overall green strategy.

Ironically, about 70% of those surveyed have no plan, and no target to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Dan Sutherland, founder of the Green Technology Initiative, said, “What we are doing in IT today is not sustainable. Systems efficiency is the cheapest and easiest way of reducing the carbon footprint of the work you do, and delivered properly, it has the benefit of bringing down costs across the board. Whilst undoubtedly UK enterprises are willing to take action, many lack the incentive, knowledge and resources to make immediate changes.”

The survey also found that many expect industry and government to take the lead in reducing harmful emissions. IT

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