15 Apr Gartner warns against cutting green initiatives in slow economy
Stamford, Conn. – Organizations that are tempted to cut back on green information technology initiatives as part of wider IT cost-cutting may find themselves “out of pocket” in the near- to mid-term, according to a new report from Gartner, Inc., an information technology research company.
The report, titled “Cutting Back on Green PC Initiatives Leads to False Economies,” said most companies that pursue a green agenda save money and alleviate pressure on IT budgets.
Steve Kleynhans, research vice president for Gartner, said green initiatives do not add significantly to operational costs, and their modest upfront costs usually are recovered within 12 to 18 months.
“Faced with an economic downturn, many organizations tend to cut back on soft programs – such as green efforts – as a cost-saving measure,” Kleynhans said following the release of the report. “However, companies need to pursue these low-risk initiatives as they often provide quick returns that are especially attractive in a cost-cutting environment.”
Kleynhans advised companies to proceed with green initiatives that began in 2007, and even accelerate certain programs. He said the programs that should be ramped up are those that deliver power savings so that associated efficiencies impact budgets as soon as possible.
Gartner identified four key areas where green PC initiatives can lead to cost savings:
• Eco-friendly labels on new computers: Switching to a more eco-friendly model can reduce power consumption by 20 percent or more, and usually carries only a very small premium – typically less than $20 per desktop.
• Powering down: Putting machines in a low-power state when not in use is a low-risk but highly effective change to a PC fleet. It costs little or nothing to implement, typically less than $10 a year, and reduces energy costs from more than $75 a year to about $18 per year.
• At your disposal: Sound computer disposal programs become more critical in a business downturn. When properly disposed of, older equipment has value that can help pay for newer, more efficient systems. Even machines that are beyond refurbishment have value based on parts and embedded recyclable materials.
• Green processes: The most efficient way to fulfill a business process often is the “greenest” way. Programs that encourage reduction in travel and commuting may require a minor uplift in technology spending, but are likely to improve workers’ productivity and attitudes. Reducing the printing and distribution of paper not only reduces environmental waste, it typically speeds up business processes.
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