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Going "Green" is Profitable

Adopting green technologies is good for planet and for your business
Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

green

Green Business Technology practices have become the winning slogan for enterprises to realize business success and it also puts them in the limelight for being environmentally friendly companies. But the best part is that companies can also make money while fighting climate change.

Business technology alone consumes 1 percent of the world’s electricity and consumes 415 million tons of coal per year emitting 864 million tons of greenhouse gases. The figures indicate that it makes more business sense to implement green energy-efficient solutions in any company as it accelerates business growth and ensures greater sustainability for the business.

Cost reductions can be realised significantly in energy consumption if data center capacity, physical assets and virtualisation solutions are optimised besides outsourcing parts or entire data centers. Such green initiatives enable easier management, monitoring and measuring of environmental footprint for meeting corporate and regulatory commitments. Business continuity and effective power management prevents outages and also optimises resource allocation. Supply chain and materials management further offers social, economical and environmental advantages.

Employee bases grow with energy saving devices, and there is greater collaboration between companies and also less travel owing to the presence of virtual collaboration tools. Telepresence solutions bring people across the globe face-to-face besides reducing travel expenses and also the carbon footprint.

How to use green practices for profitable business?

Energy conservation and resource efficiency can be brought to practice by reducing waste, reusing equipment and recycling supplies. In data centers companies can use data transformation solutions such as server consolidation and smart cooling solutions.

Solutions like teleconferencing and video conferencing allows getting the work done between companies without having the employees to step out of office. Energy-efficient PCs also reduce total cost of ownership and electricity charges besides making the devices ENERGY STAR compliant.

To deploy green solutions, companies have to make it a corporate policy for the initiative then identify and prioritize their IT and environmental goals. The present IT scenario has to be studied and a sustainable green IT plan has to be put in place after studying alternative plans and vendors. The Green IT solution so selected has to be in line with business objectives and the company should be prepared for investments to enjoy returns.

Many Asian businesses profiting from green technologies

Corporate Social Responsibility practiced by companies in Singapore encompasses business strategy and operations along with universal values for realizing positive and sustainable outcomes for customers, suppliers, employees, and the environment.

The annual Carbon Forum Asia 2009 trade fair and conference which took place in Singapore in October served to showcase regional and international carbon market players from more than 27 countries including 22 from the Asia Pacific such as Singapore, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand, Bhutan and Papua New Guinea.

Project developers and carbon credit sellers displayed project ideas for environment friendly solutions including biomass-biogas combined heat and power generation, conversion of waste coal gas to energy and methane avoidance solutions. Discussions were held regarding emissions trading, carbon finance and climate change. Developing countries like China, India and Brazil have benefited a lot from the Clean Development Mechanism, according to sources.

Korean and Indian companies are ahead of their counterparts in Singapore and other Asian countries, as was revealed by a recent study on corporate policies regarding carbon footprint and reduction of green house gas emissions.

Enterprises need to innovate solutions

 

Green IT solutions are applicable for all enterprises big and small which have a data center in place. But green initiatives are not restricted to the IT industry alone as shown by a laundry business in Singapore. Green N Clean Laundry uses wet cleaning methods to clean delicate garments using water instead of petroleum based solvents as in the dry cleaning method.

The laundry business owners said that wet cleaning uses non-toxic soaps which are safer to use besides being eco-friendly as the wash water with biodegradable soaps can be discharged into the sewers. In dry cleaning the solvents used cause body irritation and cancer according to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency. The solvents are poisonous and not fit to be discharged into sewers.

Dry cleaning also consumes more power owing to the recycling process involved in getting the solvent ready for the next load. This makes it a totally non-environmental friendly solution. Businesses need to innovate more and create eco-friendly practices in what ever way possible to reap health, cost and environment benefits.

Earlier this year Nokia held its first Virtual Eco-Roundtable in Singapore in which Nokia’s global and Southeast Asia Pacific (SEAP) executives spoke on environmental sustainability and its commitment to the environment. The highlight of this conference was that it was held in Nokia’s videoconference room, the Halo Room and some speakers were presenting from the company’s headquarters in Finland.

Nokia is integrating sustainability into the business and its environmental strategy which includes optimized materials management, take-back and recycling. Nokia includes these policies into the business and adds green features in its products also.

The design process involves observation and the devices are made for longer life. The new products and accessories are free of PVC, phthalates and flame retardants. Packaging materials and costs have been reduced drastically by using compact packing made of recyclable material. The company saved 99,000 tons of paper on packaging material and reference guide books.

To save energy in the no-load mode, energy-efficient chargers have been made by Nokia which gives alerts to unplug the chargers. Energy consumption is reduced by 80 percent in the no-load mode. Also the company is supporting a common charger interface which will eliminate the need for multiple chargers for different manufacturers. Nokia also promotes the recycling of old mobile phones.

Nokia’s green services, Green Explorer, Eco zone and we:offset advocates sustainable choices among people leveraging its global reach. Green explorer is a green travel planner offering overviews, facts, commuting advice and city guides with eco-friendly choices which can be downloaded to Nokia devices. Eco zone is preinstalled in most devices and gives access to eco information and services. we:offset is a carbon emission offsetting tool lets users offset their carbon emissions from traveling with ClimateCare.

Green IT or the practice of environmentally friendly solutions in the IT industry is a fast growing sector on earth today. Hewlett-Packard operates in over 170 countries and provides printing and personal computing products, IT services, software and solutions. The company strives to support business growth with new initiatives and products besides trying to reduce harmful environment impacting activities.

HP Asia Pacific has identified areas in which customers are adopting Green IT such as in virtualization, management, power and cooling, and asset-recovery services. Increasing energy efficiency of servers and power supplies, implementing solutions which augment the energy efficiency in cooling a data center and developing software to measure energy usage are green initiatives taken by HP.

Following such examples - whether it is implemented by a small laundry business or global giants such as Nokia and HP - all businesses can incorporate sustainability and business responsibility and make their businesses go green.

Green business is also sustainable business as it has no negative impact on the global and local environment nor on the community, society or economy. Sustainable businesses which highlight human rights policies should now include environmental policies also. All processes, products and manufacturing activities have to meet environmental and corporate profit making goals.

“The needs of the present world have to be met without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their needs”, say experts in environment study. Products have to be designed which will leverage the environmental benefits now and also perform well with renewable resources. Sustainability involves a delicate balance between people, planet and profit. Value should be created for customers, investors and the environment in order to run the most ideal business today.

More awareness about benefits of green technologies required

Lack of awareness about benefits accruing from such energy-efficient technologies prevents people and businesses from adopting safe technologies. The social and business benefits result in significant cost savings in the long run. The lack of regulatory guidelines across the Asia Pacific region acts as a deterrent to adopting Green IT solutions. The introduction of carbon taxes and other regulatory measures will result in optimised environmental policies.

All eyes are focused on the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Conference to be held in December this year. The key issue under discussion will be global warming and how to tackle this problem. Evidently, global warming is the favourite topic the world over. It also need urgent attention as it is reaching alarming proportions according to the results of the annual Arctic Report Card. The changes in the Arctic are “drastic” says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Scientists believe that climate change is affecting the Arctic more than other places. The changes are alarming and businesses should take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse polluting gases and try stopping climate changes throughout the world. It has become imperative for every citizen of this earth to look for greener alternatives to all their activities both at home and in offices.

 

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