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The Ultimate Guide to Going Green and Saving a Bunch of Money

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There are a lot of difficult choices to make in today’s economy. It’s encouraging to know that game-changing breakthroughs like Green IT exist to combine green products with cost-effective strategies that leave a reduced environmental imprint. Green IT is a game-changing concept since it solves modern environmental problems by replacing inefficient technology with eco-friendly alternatives. Concerns that shifting to a green mindset might cause a global financial crisis have proven unfounded, with many businesses reporting significant cost savings after adopting green information technology. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Highmark Inc. is a primary health insurance provider, but new initiatives have elevated the corporation to the ranks of environmental champions. Highmark moved into a new data center a few years ago that was more than three times the size of its previous home, which was 24,000 square feet. The business chooses to do this through the use of eco-friendly computer technology. Due to server virtualization and green IT HVAC technologies, Highmark has maintained the same energy efficiency level in the larger space. The organization has installed water collection systems and recycled materials throughout the structure to reduce its environmental impact.

Similarly, Wachovia Corporation is exploring green computing options. With the help of green IT architects, Wachovia has replaced the computers in its data center with a more efficient technology system, cutting construction expenses by more than $80,000. To lower their carbon footprint, Wachovia plans to deploy eco-friendly solutions that will allow them to cut their emissions by over 10% over the next few years. In the future, all of their data centers will be equipped with environmentally friendly features, including energy-efficient cooling systems and power-cutting strategies.

Unsurprisingly, the World Wildlife Fund supports efforts to improve the environment by employing green computing practices. They encouraged environmental protection for over 40 years, and greener IT was just the next logical step in their legacy. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has reduced their energy use and increased their savings by using virtualization software and blade servers. The WWF’s mission has always been and will always be to protect the environment no matter the cost, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to anticipate an environmentally conscious world. The adoption of environmentally friendly technologies ends up saving money.

First National of Nebraska Inc. was an early adopter of environmentally friendly computer systems. The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability dates back to 1999, when it built the first data center in the world to run entirely on fuel cells. Amazingly, just one adjustment alone has already helped save the corporation over $100 million, and they’re not done making efficiencies yet. By Green IT principles, First National of Nebraska, Inc. wants to roll out a colossal server consolidation initiative across multiple data centers. They anticipate a further reduction in server and infrastructure expenditures of $19 million for the company.

Austin Energy has used green computing and other energy-efficient technologies for over 20 years. To achieve Austin Energy’s green IT ambitions, the business invests in cutting-edge server technology and data center compression methods that will reduce energy use by more than 40%. The facility has an automated electrical system manages the power flow throughout the day to ensure optimal efficiency. The team at this $1.2 billion energy plant has no intention of letting their stellar reputation in the industry go any time soon.

Ryder System Inc. promotes “environmental ethics” to encourage local businesses to follow suit. The usage of green IT helped the company reduce its energy bill by almost 15% in 2006, and the savings have only grown since then. The corporation recently constructed a new data center projected to cut annual energy use by about 6.5 million BTUs. That’s the equivalent of keeping over 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air from the business. Green computing practices and reduced office space are two ways this data center helps reduce its environmental impact. Ryder System can reduce its financial impact while also improving the environment.

The latest data center built by the Missouri-based Monsanto Company is another step in the right direction for the planet. The new facility was constructed using environmentally friendly green computing practices and is entirely carbon neutral. Windows in the middle can block out more than 60% of the sun’s rays, and the building can resist the force of an F3 tornado. As a result, the business can save money on its cooling costs and reduce energy consumption. The company has consolidated over ten data centers nationwide using Green IT principles over the previous decade. Server consolidation and virtualization have aided them, and the company wants to keep working to keep up with the new technologies that emerge every day.

Perkins+Will Inc. has been committed to creating environmentally responsible workplaces for decades, so when the opportunity to adopt green computing came along, they jumped at the chance. Peter+Will is committed to minimizing its environmental impact and costs. Thus, each office has its ecological watchdogs (often called the green team) who maintain tabs on the building’s energy consumption, water consumption, air quality, etc. In addition to the company’s visualization tactics, Perkins+Will has begun mandating that all computers be turned off at the end of each workday. This has resulted in significant savings for the company in terms of both electricity and energy use.

While Discovery Communications LLC is best known for its environmental programming on the Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet, the corporation has done much more for the planet than just providing human entertainment. The company’s green IT strategy includes routinely monitoring the energy use of its servers, networks, and storage devices. Discovery Communications LLC has decreased its energy use by over 20% since it was redesigned to conform to green computing, and the company is planning to spread its energy savings to other areas, such as the local headquarters, where it has already lowered its consumption by over 27%.

Overall, green IT has had an incredible impact on how businesses save money and energy, and the future holds enormous promise for the further development of green theories. The larger companies’ cost-cutting, mergers, and other positive changes may have started slowly initially, but they’ve now inspired even the smallest local enterprises to join in. Growth in environmentally friendly technologies is likely as research into green computing continues to advance. Green information technology is not only a passing trend. It’s the beginning of a better world for everyone, and from here, the possibilities for the future are limitless.

Jack Lesley presently serves as the chief executive officer of Secure-Firm [http://www.secure-firm.com], an information technology consulting firm in Houston specializing in Legal IT. He’s been working as an IT professional for over 22 years.

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