Big companies carry big responsibilities in leading the green push in IT. And that responsibility is something IBM takes very seriously.
IBM director of business partners, Andrew Baker, said environmental practices and investments were not new policy for the vendor giant.
“As far back as 1971 we launched an environmental policy,” he said.
Thirty-seven years on, however, and the industry has changed. Last year, IBM announced a major new push into cleaning up IT with its IBM Big Green project.
“IT accounts for about two per cent of carbon emissions, which is something similar to the airline industry,” Baker said. “With the continual uptake of IT equipment that impact is growing quite rapidly, so the IT industry is in the unusual position of being both a contributor to emissions but also of having an opportunity to do positive things about it.”
IBM director of IBM.com for A/NZ, Suzanne Kerwan, said the Big Green initiative was an annual billion-dollar commitment.
“The money goes into research and development of green tech, skilling up our people and making the capabilities and services available to help our clients make more efficient use of technology. We also share this with our business partners, to help them meet this challenge for their clients as well,” she said.
What are some of the results we can expect from the investment? “There’ll be some new hardware coming out with advances in this area, which is more efficient. The other thing is we’re getting involved in quite innovative projects to tackle climate issues around the globe,” Kerwan said.
“For instance, we’re looking at water management and have engaged with Melbourne University on a project around the Murray Goulburn basin. We’re also working with a consortium of utilities around the globe, including Country Energy in Australia, to look at intelligent utility grids.”
IBM is also involved closely with its business partners to develop and promote environmentally-friendly solutions and practices. According to Baker, most of the vendor’s channel is engaged in joint initiatives in one way or another.
“We’ve worked with most of our key business partners in one way or another around green initiatives – whether it be virtualisation solutions or blade solutions, or, at the other end of the lifecycle, working together on green asset disposal services through our financing companies,” he said.