How Green is Green IT?


Upcoming CIO Insight research finds that companies mostly undertake eco-friendly initiatives out of environmental concerns, not just the bottom line. But there's more to the story. Once again, the big question about green IT needs to be asked: are companies doing it out of environmental altruism, or simply for the bottom line?

Late last year, I looked into that very question. The answer?

Like their energy-conscious precursors, these fresh initiatives are in large part driven by interest in a different kind of green, with ecofriendliness just a happy byproduct. But in the end, that's not a bad thing or even a cynical ploy. After all, doing good while doing well is a worthy goal for any company.

Now we're looking at the issue again. Our newest survey, on corporate social responsibility (online in a week or so), has some interesting findings. A quick snippet: CIOs are taking a large role in green initiatives, businesses are pushing harder for them, and financial and environmental concerns are about equal as the main drivers. But we also found that more than half of companies don't have a point person for green initiatives.

Some of that coincides with a recent report from the Cutter Consortium, which found that more and more firms are executing green strategies.

Frankly, I'm a little skeptical that the majority of companies are in it out pure altruism (that factor just outranked cost savings). Something tells me a lot of IT execs say so because they'd like to be seen that way; most people I've spoken with say it all comes down to the money.

I'm writing a feature about these trends, so I'd like to hear what you think. Does your firm have a defined green IT policy? If so, is it out of eco-friendliness, or is the motivation purely financial? And who's overseeing the execution of the policy?


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