Delphi Study: Influence of Environmental Literature Review

Pages: 60 (17687 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 100  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Energy

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
Green IT and energy costs

Although IT devices consume energy, you can use them to control energy, particularly electricity consumption.

You can use IT systems to take care of building management. For example, using movement sensors, thermostats can be adjusted, lights switched on and off, and computers switched off out of hours and reawakened for software upgrades.

One of the biggest challenges in reducing electricity consumption is ensuring that electricity users can monitor their own consumption. What gets measured gets managed -- once people are aware of their consumption, they can go about reducing it. This isn't yet common practice, even in data centers. But, with new smart metering technologies, organizations could monitor the electricity usage of individual departments. Departments could be charged for usage, giving them a clear incentive to reduce their consumption and the ability to see the benefits of energy-saving initiatives straight away.

Increasingly, organizations are asked by governments and other stakeholders to disclose the amount of energy that they use -- and therefore the associated CO2 emissions. IT systems can play a role in enabling organizations to measure and report those emissions. IT systems also enable a greater exchange of environmental information up and down the supply chain.

Taking Bigger Strides

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You don't have to be an office-based business to apply technology to greening your activities. Remote monitoring sensors, for example, make it possible to keep an electronic eye on remote locations such as farmland, storage tanks and reservoirs, reducing the need to travel there to take readings. Many industries already use these capabilities to monitor tunnels and pipelines all over the world. Even drinks dispensers can be hooked up, ensuring that no service or refill journeys are wasted trips.

Implementing Practical Steps

Literature Review on Delphi Study: Influence of Environmental Assignment

When Freeform Dynamics asked almost 1,500 IT professionals to compare their own attitudes to the environment with their companies', the results showed that staff tended to be ahead of their employer in their concerns. Over 50 per cent of respondents thought that it could do more for the environment. Any company deciding to take green steps, even if for commercial reasons, will find themselves pushing against a largely open door when it comes to securing support from staff.

The easiest place for organizations to start is where no measurement or groundwork is required, but simply a change in behavior. The following lists of tips and suggested actions are roughly in order of cost and effort. The environmental impact will vary according to the nature of your organization. A focus on print reduction won't amount to much for an online software publisher, for example, which prints hardly anything.

Energy Conservation: A Possible Alterative?

The Green movement is gaining momentum in financial services, but executives are finding that it's far easier to cut off the financing of dirty industries like coal-fired power plants than it is to get their own houses in order-even when major cost savings beckon. BY GREG GOTH

Lorie Wigle, the general manager of eco-technology at Intel, laughs when she is asked if there are enough computer industry executives with "eco" or "green" in their title these days to make up a whole new peer group.

But "going green" is no laughing matter, either for the technology industry or its financial customers. The green movement is gaining momentum in some corners of the financial industry. Earlier this year, three of the largest U.S. financial firms-Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley -- and several large power companies developed "The Carbon Principles," with the objective to make it more difficult for new U.S. coal-fired power plants to secure financing. The Rain Forest Action Network's Global Finance campaign pressed many of the world's largest banks-Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citi and JPMorgan Chase, among others-to "fund the future" by agreeing to lending principles that protect the environment RAM's campaign took effort, but convinced institutions to adopt green lending practices. Still, refusing to lend to "dirty" industries is one thing; making a commitment to clean up one's own act is even harder.

This raises the obvious question: How green is your bank's house? For better or worse, the financial industry is the bellwether of how to balance environmental concerns and business demands. The stakes are high. Missteps can cost time and money-not to mention the drastic business implications of a system slowdown. "We view them as a leading indicator for the rest of the marketplace, particularly in terms of energy efficiency. They were almost canaries in the coal mine for what started to be a big issue for a broad range of customers," Wigle says.

Gartner's Rick De Lotto, principal analyst for green IT in the financial-services industry, says IT staffs could actually be the canary's canary, already well involved in the process of reducing energy use. Hence, they occupy an important strategic position within their organizations for how to proceed with green initiatives. "The IT guys were already in crisis mode because energy prices were spiking," he says. "This is a chance for IT managers to really leverage their experience and get a place at the table."

Last fall, De Lotto wrote in a research report that "in many cases, the IT department will be a firm's only internal pool of any type of engineering talent This will make the IT department a natural test bed for new technology ideas and business practices."

The state-of-the-art designation when it comes to facilities/data center cross-pollination is the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Citigroup is building a LEED-certified data center in Frankfurt, Germany, scheduled to open in June, that will use 25% less energy than a comparable data center. Citi says the 16,000 megawatt hours saved annually are enough to power 3,000 single-family homes. "We're still early in the process as an industry," says Michelle Erickson, director of Citigroup's global sustainable IT program. "At this point, you can still make a case for a return reasonably quickly for most of the activities taking place."

Other U.S. banks have set explicit goals to reduce their own energy consumption. Bank of America has stated "aggressive, voluntary goals" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the company by nine percent in the next year. Wachovia aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% in two years. "We're looking anywhere we can to reduce that, looking at ways of reducing power usage any way we can," says Jason Nash, senior platform and data-center architect for Wachovia's corporate and investment banking division.

Most banks' short-term internal green initiatives seem to be meat-and-potatoes solutions like data center and server consolidation and virtualization. First National Bank of Omaha, for example, saved almost $2 million annually after it moved computer resources on 30 Unix servers and 560 Windows servers onto a single IBM System z mainframe.

De Lotto says even more energy reduction is possible at the desktop. "Modifications and enhancements to data centers [especially related to cooling issues] have received most media attention because they are power inefficient and are big and easy to see," he wrote in his report, "Green IT: The Future is Now." "However, the area where the greatest overall effect can be made the fastest is at the desktop and with client devices."

Wachovia architects are exploring a green approach that will combine the two: removing computers from individual workstations and putting them in the data center, then using virtualization to consolidate individual instances of operating systems and applications. "Most people do not need a physical system in the data center for themselves," Nash says. "A virtual system shared by 10 people would be fine. At night, we can roll them into a fraction of the blades they are running on in the daytime, shut them down or use them for grid applications, and then roll them back across the blades again before work starts in the morning. So we're not going to have to pay the power bill to have all the blades running all the time. We're currently looking at proof of concept on that."

Banks don't have to go all the way to desktop virtualization to cut power usage in the cubes, says Will Durr, svp of technology delivery at Waterbury, CT-based Webster Bank His institution is planning to install client power-management software sometime this year. "If we turn off our PCs 12 hours a day over the course of the year, the savings are significant," he says.

Gartner's De Lotto figures just using existing Energy Star-compliant desktop power management for monitors and computer units would save $75 per desktop per year. "Multiply that by 1,000 PCs and your CEO will be taking you to lunch," he says. "When you get right down to it, anything that cuts electrical usage is a good thing. And it's going to be years before they figure out the right way to get data centers set up. Right now, there's no telling where the breakthrough will come technically. So it's 10 yards and a cloud of dust. Grind, grind, grind, grind, grind. Don't forget… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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