Green is certainly a popular trend these days, but what does it really mean? 

Does it mean making a consistent effort to recycle your plastic, glass and aluminum? Does it mean using both sides of office paper before tossing it in the recycling bin? Driving a fuel-efficient vehicle? Reducing the energy consumption in your data center?

As a buzzword that crosses industries and levels of involvement, green is a term that can't be ignored. Although the primary goal of reducing our negative impact to the environment is at the root of green initiatives, going green means different things to different people. To some, it is a daily commitment to live in an eco-friendly way. To corporations, it is often a cost-cutting exercise. Or, as Ronan Kavanagh points out in his article, it may become a competitive necessity as potential customers set mandates for green adherence.

Whether your motives for going green are ecologically or financially inspired, the drivers are compelling. Consider these data points, recently published in Information Management editorial:

  • Eighty-eight percent of financial services executives told IBT Enterprises that green initiatives are important to their financial institution; 70 percent say they're into it because it's the right thing to do, and 68 percent are converts because of lower operational costs.
  • If the U.S. cut its office paper use by roughly 10 percent, or 540,000 tons, greenhouse gas emissions would fall by 1.6 million tons - equivalent to taking 280,000 cars off the road for a year.
  • A recent report from Datamonitor reveals that tighter regulatory measures and advances in technology are feeding renewed interest in green IT.
  • According to the McKinsey & Company report "Revolutionizing Data Center Efficiency - Key Analyses," data center energy use doubled between 2000 and 2006, and by 2012 is expected to double again.
  • The BPM Forum's study, "Lean & Green: Reducing IT Energy Drain for Business Gain," indicates that nearly 20 percent of those polled spend more than $1 million per year on IT energy consumption, and 8 percent spend more than $10 million.

You can find these statistics and a variety of ideas to help green your organization at Also, on March 5 at 3:00 p.m. ET tune in to DM Radio for our Saving Green by Going Green show.

Enjoy the issue,

Julie Langenkamp

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