Companies Going Green

By Prakash Ballakoor | Published on 01 Aug 2007
Companies Going Green

"At Sun, the first step in being eco-responsible is the "greening" of our business, or minimising the environmental impact of our operations. We are determined to integrate eco principles into every aspect of our operations. We will implement a thin-client IT architecture, where processing takes place on the network. In all, Sun has facilities to significantly reduce both power and materials consumption. We are making data centres smaller and more energy-efficient so they will emit less carbon and cost less.

Arnab Roy, GM - Marketing ,Sun Microsystems India
It is definitely feasible and absolutely necessary for others to take such steps. A joint effort by all the companies in the industry will go a long way in ensuring that the negative impact on our environment is minimised. Efforts by one or two corporates will have limited impact.

There has been recent research by IIT Delhi along with Sun India, and according to their recommendations, the Government should enforce energy conservation steps by IT communities such as tax incentives and guidelines that motivate computer professionals to purchase energy-efficient components, foster voluntary industry efforts to develop energy-efficient computing products, and engage in public / private partnerships that highlight the cost benefits of energy-efficient data centres.

"Intel takes various steps to ensure environment-friendly computing. At our conference centre in Bangalore, we have motion detectors that switch off lights when no one has been in the room for more than ten minutes. We don't have Desktop computers at Intel-laptops consume less electricity, which again is good for the environment. We have stringent e-disposal policies applicable at our offices the world over. Before we dispose of a computer, we see if it can be used in other departments. If it isn't, we donate it to an NGO. If the computers are not working at all, we scrap them with a vendor who adheres to our stringent disposal policies.

Rahul Bedi, Director, Corporate Affairs Intel South Asia and India Business Operations Manager

Every corporation should have policies for environmentally-friendly computing: disregarding this will come back in the form of deteriorating employee health, increase in costs, and so on. Yes, there is an investment required, but it pays off in the long run.

The government should have policies pertaining to this, but organisations should follow environment-friendly practices regardless. In addition, making employees aware of the big picture of their actions helps more than dictating policies."

Satish Kumar, CEO, GLOPORE IMS

"At GLOPORE, we avoid taking printouts for internal communication; even most of our outside communication is done through e-mail. At a higher level, we have communicated to our employees to switch off monitors when not in front of the computer; this helps us save electricity. Our systems at the office have LCD screens, which again contributes to saving electricity. We also prefer to give laptops to employees for this reason, besides the advantages of portability.

The monetary savings thanks to such practices aren't much, but we have not set them for monetary gain. It is our contribution to the society and the environment.

Other companies can replicate our conservation methods, and I think even minor changes in policy can bring about a huge difference.

We don't face any difficulty in enforcing these policies-employee awareness works well, and once employees develop these habits-such as switching off monitors and so on-they continue to implement them at home, too.

"We understand that conservation of electricity is important, and to reduce power consumption, we are moving to newer server systems. These new servers don't just consume less power; they easily handle the load of three older servers.

Vimal Khanna
General Manager (India) NetXen

Employees have also been asked to switch off computers when leaving the office. We have separate air conditioning for each department, so if there are no employees in a section, the AC can be switched off.

It is quite feasible for businesses similar to ours to adopt policies like the ones we have. I believe small steps towards conservation by each organisation will make a huge impact on the environment.I don't think the government should enforce policies for environment-friendly computing, but they should make recommendations.

It is not difficult to change the mindset of employees because they understand the implications of wastage.

Dr Y V Verma, Director - HR & MS, LGEIL

"At LG, our vision is to reduce energy costs by 20 per cent every year. We have set our ACs to run at 24 degrees Celsius, the "green temperature," and this reduces electricity consumption. Wherever possible, we use natural lighting. There is a team to ensure that employees switch off all lights, ACs, laptops, and PCs. If they leave any devices on, a reminder note is put on their desks as well as on their team head's desk. At the factory, we have double-glazed windows that allow for maximum natural lighting. LG has also installed a solar water heater with a capacity of 5,000 litres. To reduce the running cost per day, we have brought about various innovations in the factory that have reduced resource intake by 50 - 70 per cent. A rainwater harvesting system has been installed for efficient use of water.

Other organisations should implement similar steps. It isn't just environment-friendly, it indirectly increases the brand image of the company and also motivates employees.

The Government should enforce implementable policies, and for some, they should make suggestions. The Government should also create awareness among industries.

It is difficult to enforce certain policies in the face of resentment-it took us four to five years to get to the stage we are at now.

Prakash Ballakoor

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