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Getting Green Takes Green

It takes green to go green. That's readily evident based on data released yesterday by Enterprise Management Associates that shows that the larger the enterprise, the more likely the business will sink money into greening its IT.
It takes green to go green. That's readily evident based on data released yesterday by Enterprise Management Associates that shows that the larger the enterprise, the more likely the business will sink money into greening its IT.EMA found that 73% of companies with 10,000 or more employees have implemented green IT solutions, while only 39% of companies with fewer than 2,500 employees did so. They have the most to gain by going green and the wherewithal to do so.

EMA notes that larger companies also use less power per desktop. Those with revenue of $1 billion or more had an average weekly desktop power consumption of 25.61 KwH, while companies that had revenue of less than $100 million had an average weekly desktop power consumption of 34.04 KwH. The calculations are based on U.S. Department of Energy averages.

The calculations get tricky, though, when they include heating, cooling, and other environmental equipment. Some devices, such as a chilled water plant, are clearly used in the data center for IT purposes. But the energy used to pump the water to the chillers, and the water itself, also are used for non-IT purposes. Similarly, how much of the HVAC load should be attributable to IT when some of the same equipment is used to cool the cafeteria and bathrooms? Conversely, is IT paying its fair share of the electricity bill? Do they even see it?

Clearly, as noted above, businesses that can afford to go green will go green. Why wouldn't they? If nothing else, it's currently one of the best ROIs in town, according to research by the Lawrence National Berkeley Laboratory. "Green IT is more about the green of the wallet than the green of the grass, though there are certainly businesses that are more socially conscious," Steve Brasen, EMA analyst, told attendees of an EMA webinar today.

And that's why the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 that was rolled into the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 may well prove a boon to businesses that would like to green their IT, but simply can't make the capital investment to retrofit their shops.

Whatever you think about the larger bailout plan itself and how the energy items came to rest therein, it will give many businesses the green they need to go green.