Green Tech Is A Fiscal, Not A Moral, Concern

from the it's-not-easy-being... dept

ComputerWeekly recently ran an article discussing some of the complexities companies face when considering a slew of new "green IT" products. While the middle of the article reads more like a press release, it does conclude with a few sharp points about companies that have made the connection between green tech and ongoing waste reduction efforts. When companies consider "going green" strictly from an environmentalist's point of view -- that being green is socially responsible and is inherently a good thing to do -- most will find insufficient justification for making any significant investment. However, as more companies demonstrate that green tech investments, properly made, translate to long term cost savings, others will follow suit. It makes sense for green tech vendors to feature the efficiency improvements of their products and services because, environmental benefits aside, reducing waste and inefficiency is a practice with which most companies are already well versed. If the industry is successful in their efforts to reframe green tech from a moral to a fiscal consideration, decision makers will be able to evaluate it in terms with which they are much more familiar: the bottom line. Once the discussion centers around dollars and cents rather than birds and trees, every sensible company will have to determine not if, but which green tech investments will improve their efficiency and overall business.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 2:45pm

    It's both

    I don't buy the either or arguments,
    never have.

    It's both economically and morally wrong
    to waste resources. It's economically
    and morally wrong to pollute. The first
    case is obvious, resources are valuable
    and wasting them is like wasting money.
    The second is the result of consequences.
    If a company pollutes a lawsuit may cause
    them much financial distress.

    If not for some clever chemists who saw the
    waste from coal gas plants as both as well
    as damaging to the environment, the chemical
    industry as we know it would not exist.

    Probably the least likely example of green,
    eh? But it's true.

     

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  2.  
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    InkChemist, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 2:57pm

    a problem

    It is likely to be a while before 'green' becomes an accountant's dream (bottom line improvement). Most 'green' alternatives have significantly higher first costs and not many have good total cost of ownership over their useful life.

    The moral approach, if not overplayed, is still needed to bridge the gap between cheap & wasteful and green but pricey.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Wyatt, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 3:04pm

    eh?

    I’m having a hard time understanding your argument, especially the part about the "coal gas plants". But I think what you are saying is that it’s always wrong to pollute the environment. That’s true, but the point of the article is; it’s not a choice that companies are willing to make, unless it affects their bottom line in some way. You will never be able to tell a company that they have to do something that hurts that bottom line, unless there is a law involved. Maybe there needs to be more intervention from the government. But looking at how the current government handles problems, it’s probably a really bad idea.

    The really good thing about green tech is its potential for the economy. For the past 10 years we have had computers and such driving things. That is still good and all, but the money just isn’t there anymore. New green tech could really be the next big boost to the economy. It could come at a perfect time with all the crap happening in the housing markets.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Wyatt, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 3:07pm

    ew..

    ew geez, apologize for the grammar...

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 3:11pm

    Green done properly, with fresh thinking and a thorough approach, can be economically feasible right now.

    Think about the trend of planting grass and such on big city roofs. Cheap, green and it saves tons of money on heating and cooling. That's creative thinking.

    If your thought processes are bogged down at the level of small markets = high costs, you aren't thinking creatively enough.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    reed, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 3:34pm

    Companies will likely never consider the environme

    Modern business thrives on the concept that they push as many costs outside the company as possible. This effect has been described as externalities by some economists. An externality is basically a cost that someone occurs outside of a business arrangement between two entities.

    Until we place a significant tangible value on fresh air, trees, and clean water and then put it in a public or private trust, corporations will continue to pollute. The problem is we won't define the value of a clean environment so there is no motivation to keep it clean.

    I guess this is why some people argue we should privatize everything. It sounds pretty extreme, but considering how screwed up capitalism can be it may very well be necessary to ensure future generations can enjoy this planet.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 12:26am

    Re: Companies will likely never consider the envir

    "I guess this is why some people argue we should privatize everything. It sounds pretty extreme, but considering how screwed up capitalism can be it may very well be necessary to ensure future generations can enjoy this planet."

    Sorry I don't get that - capitalism is screwed up so we should allow it to control our air and natural resources?

    How's that work?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 5:49am

    So what happens when we do all these things to cool things off here and then a big ass volcano erupts and throws us into another Ice Age (like the one that happened to Europe not all that long ago) or due to the stopping of the conveyor system in the Atlantic Ocean, we also end up in an Ice Age.

    We going to have to pave over all those roof tops with blacktop again?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Sep 20th, 2007 @ 10:06am

    Crazy Environmentals

    Stopping climate change is stupid. The climate changes all the time. Gore says the average temp could go up 2 degrees in 50 years and plants will die, blah...blah. Every day the temperature goes up and down 30 to 50 degrees. Vegetation looks fine to me. The only reason to go 'green' is for saving money. Any other reason is wasteful(not 'green').

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    reed, Sep 22nd, 2007 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Companies will likely never consider the e

    "Sorry I don't get that - capitalism is screwed up so we should allow it to control our air and natural resources?"

    Capitalism, as I was explaining, externalizes all costs away. Taking care of the environment is one of these costs that corporations are desperate to externalize.

    Since the environment has no clear value how do we measure the damage of pollution? As long as our federal government controls waterways and land without defining how much they are worth, they will continue to allow polluters to operate.

    Simply put, until capitalism recognizes the value of something as simple as clean air and then "owns" it so companies/public/private can protect it it will continue to be abused. Capitalism is screwed because it will destroy our environment never considering the costs to future generations. Corporations must be forced, if they won't cooperate, to consider externalities like the environment.

    Privatizing the environment is merely one answer to this problem.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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