In putting together this special ARN Green Channel guide, our journalists spoke to a broad cross-section of the local IT community about a number of different matters relating to technology and the environment.
The pages that follow tackle a wide range of issues including how some channel organisations are already driving change with their own business, Australian Information Industry Association initiatives to tackle e-waste, how a leading integrator responded to a green government tender in Queensland, and a rallying call from Clean Up Australia founder, Ian Kiernan.
But the key message that pops up time and again from a number of different sources is that the IT industry needs to lead by example on this one. As with so many of the new technologies fl owing through the channel from one quarter to the next, there’s no greater proof of concept than embracing change yourself before driving it through your customer base.
And make no doubt about it, change is coming. Government tenders already contain environmental clauses, and a growing number of organisations in the business world will follow suit as they look to demonstrate their green credentials and meet corporate social responsibility goals; the cost of electricity will rise at an alarming rate, with hefty penalties likely for those who exceed their quotas; responsible asset disposal will become the norm, even if federal legislation will probably be needed before we get there; and the requirement to travel overseas, interstate or even across the city to a physical workspace will be greatly reduced by advances in communications technology.
Even a short time ago environmental responsibility was thought of as an unnecessary cost that business leaders would not be prepared to wear. But that perception has been whittled away and there are already plenty of examples where green business practices can deliver cost savings.
So this is a call for action. If you haven’t already, the time has come to implement environmentally responsible practices within your own business and bang the drum in conversations with your customers. Climate change is the biggest issue of our generation and the IT industry has a major role to play in reducing the impact of all other industries on the environment.
Those who act now will be leading by example. Anybody who sticks their head in the sand and waits to be told they have to change will be facing a much more difficult transition. Make this a business differentiator today rather than letting it develop into a business problem further down the line.