Microsoft says its Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX can help execs and IT administrators interested in green IT reduce their carbon footprint and save money by monitoring everything from energy costs and consumption to greenhouse gas emissions.
Midsize businesses too financially squeezed to keep an environmental
consultant on retainer could be helped in the quest to become environmentally
friendly by the launch of the Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for
Microsoft Dynamics AX.
environmentally friendly or green IT infrastructure
has been an increasing
focus as companies come under regulatory pressure to reduce their carbon
footprints, and also find they can benefit from cost savings and an
joins IBM, Google, Cisco,
Hewlett-Packard and other companies in promoting "Green IT"
initiatives that either reduce their own environmental costs or offer products
and services that help their enterprise clients do the same.
here to read more about Google's green data centers.
The Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX centers
on a customizable page titled "My Role Center," which displays environmental
information of relevance to the user's organization. In a demo, metrics on this
screen included "Actual Energy Costs," "KPI List,"
"Greenhouse Gas Emissions" and an "Energy Consumption"
Data can be entered into the system by hand, or taken from meters or
purchase orders. For example, an accounts payable clerk can open a new tab for
a utility company and input the substance being consumed (such as electricity
or gas), the units and quantity, and the dates over which the substance is being
used, and then that data will be tracked.
has offered a video showing the Environmental Sustainability Dashboard in
The system tracks data related to energy used on site, and also indirect
energy from utility companies and other off-site sources. If conservation
measures are taken, such as activating the Vista Power Management feature for a
network, the user can click back to "My Role Center" and see graphs
of the energy usage falling off.
Clicking on data points within the dashboard's graphs will reveal details
such as which type of energy consumed is producing the most greenhouse gas
emissions, or how fuel oil factors into overall costs. Customizable metrics,
such as daily tons of waste produced, can also be added to the system.
"We're looking at this as an ideal way to look at environmental
sustainability functionality in a way that adds to the bottom line and
decreases the footprint on the planet," Jennifer Pollard, senior product
manager for Microsoft Dynamics, said in an interview. "Getting
environmental information into the system is the only way you can arm [business
leaders] to make more well-balanced decisions."
Pollard added, "With the dashboard, we wanted to
make people more proactive and see how energy costs apply to their business,
and see not only their risk but their opportunities. Companies who look at this
are being seen as forward-thinkers."