Green IT

I have just written a comment on an article about Green IT, published at I thought it would be worth sharing here too……

I work for a supplier of products to the ICT industry in Australia, B&R Data Systems (I mention their name to justify myself writing this at work). We are currently looking at our environmental policies, and to be honest are finding it really hard to work out what we can do.

To give you an example of our problems, there are at least 6 different initiatives we can sign up to. Probably 2 of them really are applicable to what we do, the others we can just do. On top of that we have the issue of economics. If we make a green product we have to go through a rigorous assessment procedure, and offset product carbon costs. This is going to cost us which we obviously need to pass on to the customer. We are left with the problem, if we do this will we gain market share from the increased \’marketability\’ of green products, or will we actually lose market share because our products will become more expensive?

Essentially we are left in confusion. We can do the right thing, but will it wreck or market, or we can do nothing.

I would be interested in your comments. Let me, and other similar manufacturers know. Would you pay extra for a carbon neutral, or a known amount of carbon production. If so how much extra would you pay? I have seen figures of up to 15%, but would you really do that?

As datacentre operators, you are faced with the same problems as us suppliers. If you buy equipment 15% more expensively, you will need to pass on that cost. This would probably represent  only a few percent of your costs, but would your customers go for it?

Please let me know, as I think this issue is one that we need to solve together, not in an atmosphere of competition and suspicion of profiteering.