The Green Agenda

The Green Agenda: A Business Guide

ALAN CALDER
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 106
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hh626
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  • Book Info
    The Green Agenda
    Book Description:

    This business guide to Green IT was written to introduce, to a business audience, the opposing groups and the key climate change concepts, to provide an overview of a Green IT strategy and to set out a straightforward, bottom line-orientated Green IT action plan.

    eISBN: 978-1-905356-99-7
    Subjects: Business, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 2-4)
  2. FOREWORD
    (pp. 5-6)

    Climate change, global warming and, before that, the new ice age have all been fashionably topical issues about which individuals and organisations have worried themselves over the course of the last 20 years or so.

    Forrester, in a late 2008 report titledMarket Overview: A Slowing Economy Won’t Slow Down Corporate Green IT Initiatives,says:

    ‘The slowing economy will not derail efforts to make IT operations more efficient and less environmentally harmful. In fact, of responding companies that are changing the pace of their Green IT activities in response to the economic outlook, those going faster outnumber those slowing down...

  3. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. 9-9)
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. 10-11)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 12-19)

    Green IT³ will be a critical component of organisational IT strategies from 2009 onwards.

    There are a range of views about what, exactly, Green IT actually is, and many of these views have a strong emotional bias. At the heart of any debate about the environmental role of IT must be an acknowledgement that the world’s information and communications technologies consume a growing amount of power and have a measurably significant carbon footprint.

    Such an acknowledgement does not, of course, mean that the board of directors must prioritise environmental action in any way; there is, however, a strong argument in...

  7. CHAPTER 1: THE GREEN AGENDA
    (pp. 20-36)

    Proponents of what we have called the Green Agenda argue that the world is in the grips of either global warming and/or climate destabilisation and/or climate change. These changes are said to be anthropogenic, or caused by human-induced CO₂ emissions. Furthermore, it is argued, these changes may ultimately be destructive of human society and could threaten the very survival of humanity. Urgent steps are required to counter this effect, which may of necessity be both expensive and inconvenient.

    At the heart of the Green Agenda is the fact that humanity uses fuels which are largely oil-based or coal-based, which are...

  8. CHAPTER 2: A HISTORY OF ENVIRONMENTALISM
    (pp. 37-43)

    The history of environmentalism stretches back some 300 years, and it is useful to be able to place today’s approach in its historic context:

    1703 to 1850 The Industrial Revolution caused a previously unprecedented amount of forest clearance and land drainage.

    1850 Nature writers were talking about a respect for nature.

    1892 John Muir founded the US conservation organisation to encourage the US government to protect parts of the environment. He was opposed by politicians and companies such as timber companies. At about the same time, national parks were declared in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

    1893 The RSPB (Royal...

  9. CHAPTER 3: ECO-DISASTER: THE SCEPTICS
    (pp. 44-57)

    While the Green Agenda dominates Western environmental debate, has a high public profile and claims to represent the settled, consensus view of the worldwide scientific community, there are a number of counter-arguments which suggest that the consensus is not as consensual as is usually represented. These counter-arguments are expressed in, or by:

    The sunspot theory;

    The Skeptical Environmentalist;

    The UK television Channel 4 programme, ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’;

    The work of the Danish National Space Center;

    The opposition of the developing world;

    Accusations of alarmism;

    Identification of inconsistent record keeping;

    Special pleading.

    A sunspot is defined by Wikipedia⁴¹ as...

  10. CHAPTER 4: A GREEN IT STRATEGY
    (pp. 58-64)

    Irrespective of one’s personal perspective on the green debate, there are a number of good, recognisable commercial reasons for businesses to consider embracing elements of the Green Agenda, particularly in respect of IT activities:

    1 Bottom-line benefits: there are significant savings to be achieved from reductions in energy use, and these can directly improve the bottom-line;

    2 Protecting or improving the top line: sales may have to be protected and can potentially be increased by applying a green label to products and services;

    3 Environmental activism has a role to play in corporate social responsibility agendas;

    4 There is a...

  11. CHAPTER 5: GREEN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
    (pp. 65-73)

    The Green Agenda is increasingly included in the corporate social responsibility agenda of larger organisations.

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a statutory requirement. However, organisations are under increasing pressure to meet CSR expectations. The pertinent issue for organisations and businesses is therefore to decide on the way in which they define their corporate social responsibility action plans to respond to such pressures.

    There is a variety of definitions and understandings of CSR. Some regard it as a current trend, some regard it as a ‘do-gooding sideshow’⁷⁷. I’ve said elsewhere that‘Companies may have many motives, not all of them...

  12. CHAPTER 6: GREEN IT ACTION PLAN
    (pp. 74-81)

    There are many reasons for an organisation to commit itself to greening its’ IT. As with all corporate decisions, the devil will be in the detail and this is certainly the case where IT projects are concerned – particularly those that will have a broad cultural change of the nature that goes with a Green IT project. A Green IT project should, in the first instance, be treated as a business project, one that has a significant business change element to it.

    If the organisation is using ISO14001⁹⁴ as the specification for its Environmental Management System (EMS), then it should follow...

  13. CHAPTER 7: TOP TEN AREAS FOR GREEN IT
    (pp. 82-84)

    Green IT has a significant contribution to make to reduce the organisation’s overall cost base. Here are our top ten recommendations (some of which, inevitably, will require some investment in order to implement).

    1 Deploy virtualisation software in the data centre and consolidate server hardware and software. Virtualisation and consolidation should then become part of the ongoing IT systems strategy. Make sure that, when you dispose of the now redundant server hardware, you take appropriate steps to protect any confidential information on their hard disks, and you track disposal in line with WEEE regulations.

    2 Review your arrangements for data...

  14. APPENDIX: GREEN GLOSSARY
    (pp. 85-103)
  15. ITG RESOURCES
    (pp. 104-106)