IBM's Latest Green Initiative Really About Another Kind Of Green

from the cash-on-the-dollar dept

In keeping with the trend of IT companies getting hip to environmental issues, IBM has announced a new program designed to make corporate data centers more environmentally friendly. The company will invest $1 billion to redo its own data centers along with those of its customers, so that they consume less power. The move fits with a pledge that the company had made earlier to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. But even in the absence of today’s environmental panic, it just makes good business sense to find ways to reduce power, since energy savings are cost savings. There really doesn’t need to be an environmental angle at all, since companies don’t typically need to have their arms twisted to convince them to save money. More innovation in the area of power consumption is definitely a good thing, but couching it as an environmental effort is more about marketing than anything else.

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Comments on “IBM's Latest Green Initiative Really About Another Kind Of Green”

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Gre (user link) says:

As long as they do it, they can spin it however they want.

I’m glad things are getting to that point, where doing “the right thing” is also cheaper, because I think that’s the only way big business is going to start doing it, and the only way consumers will ever be able to afford to.

I’m kind of happy that one day clean energy (solar, wind, nuclear) will be cheaper than fossil fuels, due to increased efficiency of the designs and rising oil prices.

Ted Samson (user link) says:

The business case for green

I agree, to an extent. I think some companies are fixating too much on touting the eco-friendly benefits of these kinds of initiatives (“It’s good for the environment!”), rather than highlighting the more important business benefits that should be of interest to companies (“It’s good for your company and the future of your business!”.

As you note, there’s the long-term cost savings of investing in more energy-efficient technologies.

Also, there really and truly is a need to be concerned about energy, according to research and first-hand accounts from various vendors and companies. There are companies struggling to get the energy the need to run their data centers, so unless they can find ways to reduce consumption, they face the option of just not growing, or investing millions of dollars and lots of time building a new data center elsewhere.

Moreover, we’re seeing more regulations here and abroad aimed at putting a cap on carbon emissions and e-waste, so it’s better companies stay ahead of the curve, rather than play catch-up.

Hopefully companies will find ways to more effectively develop their message such that it appeals more to the decision makers whose first concern is the company’s bottom-line. The business case for going green is a compelling one.

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