April 24, 2009
Do as I say, not as I do. It's the posture of certain celebrities when it comes to reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. Their rationale: As long as they're getting the word out on the dangers of deforestation and greenhouse gases contributing to global warming, and as long as they're throwing their well-intentioned dollars at third-party carbon "offsets," the world will become a more environmentally healthy place--even if their mansions indirectly burn as much carbon-based fuels as some small data centers.
Imagine if a renowned doctor or nutritional expert took a similar tack, warning society about the health risks of obesity, then bingeing regularly on Pop-Tarts and Red Bull while paying a surrogate to get in shape and eat right. The net effect would be a slightly healthier populace, but we'd have trouble taking the message and messenger seriously.
At InformationWeek, we chose to get serious about contributing to a greener planet. Rather than buy carbon credits and hope someone else would figure out how to spruce up the environment, we're getting into the act.
InformationWeek is responsible for killing lots of those oxygen-producing, carbon-consuming machines called trees in order to produce the paper for 440,000 magazines almost every week. So as a first step toward reining in what we take from the land, we will replace four of those magazine issues this year with a special interactive PDF.
Beginning with the May 4 issue and then with the Aug. 3, Nov. 2, and Dec. 14 issues, InformationWeek subscribers--as well as any other registered user of our portfolio of online products, including e-newsletters and reports--can visit informationweek.com/gogreen to download the full magazine (regular cover, sections, color graphics, and all) in an easy-to-navigate PDF format, free of charge. Beginning May 4, we hope you'll give that PDF a thorough read, try out all the interactive links, and send us your feedback on what you like and don't like. (Please add [email protected] to your contact list, address book, or anti-spam whitelist to ensure delivery of the May 4 issue.)
In tandem with that effort, InformationWeek will plant a fast-growing, long-living Douglas fir for each of the first 5,000 downloads of each PDF issue, totaling 20,000 trees in 2009 alone. Furthermore, under our 10-year green strategy, we'll partner and invest with nonprofit organizations that focus on the protection and restoration of damaged forests globally.
We're not going to "save the planet" in the process, but we're going to make an honest effort to make a small difference. Many of your organizations, of course, already are moving forward with your own green strategies--more efficient data centers, alternative power and cooling systems, and other investments. They're investments not just in a healthier environment, but also in a healthier bottom line. That green matters, too.
VP and Editor in Chief
For more Down To Business columns or to find out more about Rob Preston, please visit his page.
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