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CEOs, CFOs see benefits of going green

Posted on: February 24, 2009

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 16:57:00 11/14/2008

Filed Under: Energy Savings, Environmental Issues, Technology (general)

MAKATI CITY, Philippines — Chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) across industries are increasingly realizing the benefits of implementing green initiatives, an IBM executive said.

Driving this green shift is the need to reduce energy use and cost associated with information technology operations especially in data centers, said Randy Sng, industry manager of General Business for IBM ASEAN, citing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Based on an IBM Consultant Studies, organizations are continuously expanding data center capacity and server and storage device requirements. Energy costs also continue to escalate, with operating costs alone growing by three to five times the capital costs over the last 20 years, Sng said.

He noted that organizations are more concerned with the increasing rate of data demand, while making sure their technologies are up-to-date. For example, 79 percent of data centers are more than seven years old, while “technology densities” continue to grow 20 times.

Sng said there are now solutions that can address these challenges.

IBM’s Project Big Green, for instance, is now being offered to help IBM clients drive growth and energy savings.

The executive said IBM’s approach includes understanding energy practices, measuring and managing energy with available tools, using innovative cooling solutions, implementing virtualization like green technologies and building energy-efficient data centers.

By following IBM’s example, a firm can expect 40 to 50 percent energy savings or about $1.3 million annual savings, said Sng.

Under its Project Big Green, IBM offers energy management, building or upgrading of an energy efficient data center and virtualization and innovative cooling.

“By conducting assessment of data center energy use, a company — be it a small or large — can realize 23 percent energy savings on average,” said Sng.

Sng encouraged companies to implement strategies, such as server and storage virtualization, and assess current infrastructure to see what they can improve.

“It is imperative that companies balance carbon [footprint] in their supply chain to succeed in today’s business,” said Sng.

He suggested that companies can use IBM’s Green Sigma Dashboard to monitor, for instance, carbon emissions of products from design and production to distribution.

Sng said initiatives aimed at integrating a green agenda will allow companies to grow brand image while attracting customers and fresh talent.

Victor Fung, chairman of Li & Fung and an IBM client, said consumers have a unique concept of product quality. It goes beyond knowing the physical attributes but also finding more about processes involved in the development of the product. They want to know if the product is compliant with safety, environmental and social responsibility standards, he said.

Sng agreed that consumers are now more environmentally aware and willing to pay the price premium for green products.

“These trends, especially the social responsibility compliance, can impact and drive an organization’s brand strategy and success. The time to tackle carbon emissions is now,” said Sng.


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