2008 saw a huge global trend in Green business awareness. Ecological and social responsibilities are two of the major trends that will be important to your customers and investors this year. More than ever people want to do business with Green companies so take the opportunity to better yourself, your business, and the environment at large.

10. Encourage employee environmentally friendly behavior. Small concessions in employee behavior can make large strides in the long term. Encourage the use of double sided photocopies, turn off idle computer monitors, and reuse company resources such notepaper and paperclips.

9. Take part in an office recycling program. Most paper and plastic products can be recycled and many print cartridges can be refilled or exchanged for a fraction of the cost of buying new ones.

8. Promote Public Transportation. Private vehicles are one greatest producers of pollution and are largely unnecessary for most day to day tasks.

7. Donate used office equipment. Many cities and neighborhoods have charitable organizations that will pick up unused hardware and furniture. As an added benefit many of these organizations will save you money through the reduction of expensive waste removal. And in most cases your donation is tax deductable.

6. Partner with local Suppliers. The use of local suppliers will not only cut down on emissions from transportation costs but will often benefit you with cheaper prices once a relationship is formed.

5. Promote natural resources. Rearrange office space to benefit from natural light and airflow. Natural light will reduce your heat bills in winter and reduce the number of required light fixtures in your building. Likewise proper airflow will cut down on heating costs in winter.

4. Use water conservation plumbing fixtures. Water faucet aerators and low-flow toilets will reduce the amount of waste water your business produces and reduce your water rent.

3. Install automatic sensors for equipment and lighting features. 30% of the energy bills of large businesses come from lighting fixtures used in unoccupied areas such as parking garages and stairwells.

2. Make use of energy efficient hardware. Modern LCD monitors use a fraction of the energy that older CRT displays used and have become cheap enough that there is no reason not to make use of them. Most new computers also make use of energy efficient components and feature energy conservation options.

1. Adopt a Virtual Storage Solution. With a carbon foot print larger than the airline industry the Data Centers of the United States are the most wasteful component of modern business. Virtualized storage consolidates and centralizes your business storage into energy efficient, modular, and easy to maintain hardware. Beyond the Green initiative a Virtual Storage Solution will also reduce overall IT labor expenses by 40%.

While this list is geared towards large businesses many of the steps can be undertaken by smaller companies or even individuals. Even the smallest Green effort can make a huge impact over time for both the environment and the economy.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Design and Optimization Department