Have we been ‘Green-Washed’?
First I will not take credit for the term ‘green-washed’. I’ve seen it in several articles and I’ve been contemplating its meaning along with sustainable or sustainability at it applies to IT. Terms that seem intangible however when applied in the right context could result in millions over the life of a company. Let’s chat more. I recently read several articles speaking to their readers about the inability for people to distinguish the actual meaning of sustainability based on what their role, company or job entailed. This may be the culprit but I suspect something different. The marketing and public access of information has taken on new power in our culture to perpetuate the ‘hot’ word of the moment. It seems we continue to put new labels on old ideas and present them as fresh or ground-breaking. In this example sustainability related to IT has been linked to everything from power save software that turns off lights and computers to highly complex virtualized storage and server infrastructure. Invoking another commonly used term Green IT with green again being a word that is so beat down people may now be ignoring it when in use. This overuse or exploitation of such terminology may be attributing to our Green-washing. Our ability to ignore or glaze over the real meaning of making your IT infrastructure Green or sustainable and just assuming it is because someone has suggested or even performed work to green your IT.
In the PEI world Green IT or sustainable IT means a holistic (there’s another one of those words) approach to the entire infrastructure and networking architecture of an organization and finding each and every point of entry to reduce power consumption, required rack or floor space and reduce the management cycles of staff. This approach allows us to truly offer a sustainability argument for IT and create a greener environment. So if you’re sick of the word Green or not …if the goal of achieving sustainability makes you tear your hair out …just remember these are not new concepts or crazy fictional ideas. These are concrete, real, business impacting and cost saving measures that no matter what title is given to them is integral to running your business wisely. And that is a concept that will never go out of style.
– Jennifer Smith, PEI