Faced with a volatile energy market and a growing focus on sustainability, organisations are increasingly looking at more energy efficient strategies. However, their efforts are not helped by the Government’s draft Energy Bill, says Bimal Parmar, vice president of marketing at Faronics.
As Greenpeace argues, the Government’s draft Energy Bill
fails to acknowledge that investing in expensive imported gases will not only see an increase in carbon emissions and energy bills
, but will overshadow energy efficiency
measures that could make a tangible difference. In today’s economy, and with standards such as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme
gaining awareness, organisations are under even greater pressure to cut costs, while keeping operations eco-friendly.
While energy efficiency
is undoubtedly becoming a top concern and unanimous goal for organisations, an RWE npower survey conducted last year found that just 66 per cent of organisations have an energy efficiency strategy in place. It could be argued that this relatively low rate of execution is largely down to the current focus of green IT
policies. Existing strategies tend to concentrate heavily on large, centralised initiatives such as data centre and server efficiency. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it can also make it easy for organisations to overlook potential benefits of simpler measures, such as turning off lights and powering down desktops when not in use.
All the small things
Individuals are often unaware that lighting, desktops and monitors consume the most amount of energy in the office environment. As such, failure to adopt management strategies that reduce power consumption in these areas can lead to a substantial amount of energy being wasted. This has a significant environmental and financial impact.
An example of how beneficial simple measures can be is obvious when looking at the power consumption of desktop PCs. Considering that for every data centre there are around 50 to 250 desktops, this translates to approximately one hundred million desktops being used in the US and Western Europe – each of which draws between 100 and 300 watts, totalling approximately 10 gigawatts of power. Subsequently, it can be calculated that during their hours of utilisation, desktops actually consume more power and produce more pollution than data centres.
With the draft Energy Bill looming, reducing energy consumption of IT assets is therefore crucial if organisations are to avoid seeing the full impact of price hikes on their bottom line.
Financial impact aside, another major factor driving organisational green IT policies is today’s mounting environmental sensitivity. Businesses are increasingly pressured by activists, consumers, and governments at all levels to make their operations as environmentally friendly as possible. With this in mind, reducing the corporate carbon footprint has become a particularly important CSR activity, not only to appease existing stakeholders, but also to attract new customers.
Furthermore, organisations have to contend with regulations such as the CRC Scheme, which obliges organisations to report their energy consumption and monitor their emissions or be hit by a 'green tax’.
When taking into account the Government’s plans and the aforementioned factors, it is clear that it is becoming more cost effective – albeit, more difficult as a result of the draft Energy Bill – for organisations to go greener. In order to overcome the extra financial and CSR pressures placed on them, organisations must seriously consider the little things that can make a big difference to their carbon footprint. While large-scale strategies certainly have a place, incorporating simpler measures into existing green IT policies enables organisations to simply and effectively reduce power consumption. This, in turn, decreases expenditure, enhances reputation and exploits future growth opportunities.
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