Green Suggestion Box

Opinion: Bring on your best ideas for a going-green slide show.

So, going green in the server room and in the rest of your company is a good idea, right? I dont think there would be too many "nay" votes on that topic. But, too often, initiatives like going green become a big, bureaucratic tangle.

The great corporate alternative to actually making decisions and doing something has been to create a committee. What was the most time-wasting committee on which you have served? A committee investigating client/server computing? A committee tasked with creating rules for appropriate Internet usage? How about a committee formed to oversee a group of technology committees?

In the spirit of getting things moving, I asked two top technologists heavily involved not only in investigating but also in implementing environmentally friendly plans within their companies to give me five quick tips each for going green.

As expected, I got great suggestions from both: Thomas Russo, chief technology officer at Akridge Real Estate Services, and James Whalen, senior vice president and CIO at Boston Properties. (You can read their replies in-depth here).

When I last spoke to Russo, he was getting all wound up about lighting systems that should be monitored, automatically adjusted and converted from incandescent to compact fluorescent bulbs. Not surprisingly, his first tips deal with getting lighting under control. His next tip deals with getting motor systems (pumps, escalators and such) to work only when needed and only at the capacity required.

His final two tips take a longer view about thinking environmentally from the start during building design, and retrofitting and making sure you have power and utility monitoring systems in place to provide a base-line cost measure.

Whalen is widely recognized (both Oracle and Cisco use him in case studies) as being on the forefront of merging building systems with IT systems. He suggests: virtualization (in one case, he took a system from 24 to four servers through virtual systems); policies that set power guidelines for desktops, laptops and printers; and making sure that as you buy system upgrades and replacements, energy consumption is a stated consideration.


To read more about the green future of IT, click here.

He also advocates the often-discussed but rarely enforced policies of measuring and managing paper consumption company­wide, and making sure you have a recycling plan for replaced systems.

What I like about Russos and Whalens suggestions is that some tips can be implemented today, while some provide an outline for a sustained green strategy.

All this got me thinking that many readers would also have some great tips to pass along. Im looking for five good suggestions from you on going green in your company and in your companys IT infrastructure. Ill sort through what I can and put them all together in a slide show.


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