How to Transition to Green Technology and Save a Fortune

In today's tough economy there are many tough decisions to make. It's nice to know that major innovations like Green IT are around to combine eco-friendly products with dollar-friendly solutions that generate a much smaller carbon footprint. Green IT is a revolutionary concept that addresses all of the environmental needs of today with much more efficient technology systems that require less energy and produce less waste than their predecessors. Though there have been concerns that moving to a green state of mind would result in a global financial crisis, a lot of companies are finding that they actually save a great deal more money by implementing green IT / technologies rather than lose money! Everybody wins.

Highmark Inc. is one of the largest health insurance providers in the country, but recently some developments have put the company on the environmental advocate list. A few years ago, Highmark decided to upgrade from the 24,000 square foot data center that it was residing in and upgrade to one that was more than three times the size. The company chose to do so through the utilization of green computing. With the assistance of server virtualization and green IT HVAC systems, Highmark has been able to use the same energy to power the new office as it did the old one, even after the size differenc. The building utilizes recycled materials and water collection systems as well to ensure that the company is doing all it can to lessen its eco-footprint.

Wachovia Corp is also trying to adapt to the green computing world. By replacing the computer systems within their data center, Wachovia has teamed up with green IT designers to create a more effective system of technology that has reduced the costs of construction by more than $80,000. Wachovia plans to implement environmentally friendly solutions so that they can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10% in the next few years. They plan to expand their green efforts to all of their data centers in the future, including the use of energy-efficient cooling systems and power reduction tactics.

As might be expected, the World Wildlife Foundation has also joined in the pursuit for a better ecosystem through the use of green computing. They have fostered efforts to save the environment for over 40 years, and the more efficient use of green IT simply became the next step in their legacy. The WWF has utilized virtualization software and blade servers to minimize their energy use and increase the amount of money they save. The WWF tries to stay ahead of the eco-friendly world anyways as their goal has been and always will be to preserve the environment at any cost. It just so happens that green technology is a savings, and not a cost at all.

One company that was well ahead of the green computing bandwagon was First National of Nebraska Inc. Back in 1999, the company began their quest for environmental efficiency by implementing the first data center to ever be powered completely by fuel cell technology. Unbelievably, that change alone helped save the company over $100 million, and they still aren't done with improvements. First National of Nebraska Inc. plans to launch massively-scaled consolidation of servers within various data centers, in full compliance with Green IT ideals. They expect to save the firm an additional $19 million in server / infrastructure costs.

Austin Energy is no stranger to green computing either as the company has employed energy efficient solutions for more than 20 years now. As part of Austin Energy's green IT goals, the company plans to employ new server technology and compression techniques within its data center to save over 40% of their energy costs in the future. Currently, the company has an automated electricity system that distributes and regulates the energy used by the center to create maximum efficiency throughout the day. This $1.2 billion dollar energy plant is well ahead of others in the field, and the staff doesn't plan on letting that reputation fade any time soon.

Ryder System Inc. focuses on "environmental ethics" to motivate the staff and other companies in the area to become eco-friendly. In 2006 alone, the company cut its energy costs by more than 15% through the use of green IT, and they have continued to expand their energy savings ever since. Recently the company built a new data center which is expected to save more that 6.5 million BTUs every year. That equates to more than 1,400 pounds of greenhouse gases that aren't going to be released into the atmosphere from the company. This data center utilizes green computing and also allows for less office space, which in turn yields a much smaller carbon footprint. Ryder System gets to save some green while going green - all at the same time.

The Monsanto Co. in Missouri is also moving toward a better state of environment with the development of its latest data center. The new center was built with the use of green computing and is fully eco-friendly from floor to ceiling. The center uses materials that are strong enough to withstand the blow of an F3 tornado, and it has window's that can block out more than 60% of the sun's rays. This helps reduce the cost of cooling required for the company, which in turn lessens the energy used. Over the past ten years, the firm has implemented theories behind Green IT to consolidate more than ten data centers across the country. Their efforts have been furthered by the use of server consolidation and virtualization, and the company plans to continue their efforts to keep up with technological advancements that continue to arise on a daily basis.

Perkins+Will Inc. has striven for a sustainable work space for decades, and when the concept of green computing presented itself, the company gladly decided to hop on board. Every office under the Peter+Will name has its own group of environmental watchdogs (typically called the green team) which monitors the energy use, water use, air quality and more in the building to ensure that the company is doing all that it can to keep usage and costs to a minimum. Aside from the visualization strategies employed by the company, Perkins+Will has started requiring their employees to turn off their computers every night, which has drastically cut costs in electricity and energy needed to keep the firm going.

Discovery Communications LLC is responsible for environmental TV networks like the Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet, but the company has done much for the environment than provide human entertainment about it. As part of its green IT plan, the company keeps regular track of the uses of its server, network and storage equipment to ensure that energy is employed in the best way possible. Discovery Communications LLC has saved more than 20% of its energy use since it was re-designed to fit with green computing, and it is expanding its saving to other areas as well, including the local headquarters where energy has been reduced by more than 27%.

Overall, green IT has had an amazing impact on the way that companies save money and energy, and there's hope for great expansion of green theories to come in the near future. Though efforts did seem slow at first, the larger companies have started to inspire even the smallest of local businesses to cut costs, consolidate, and change for the better. As developments continue to arise in the study of green computing, the world should see nothing but growth in eco-friendly solutions for the future. Green IT is more than just a business fad. It's the first step toward a better world for us all, and there's no telling what's in store for the future generations to enjoy.

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