With budgets tight and new agendas for social, mobile and cloud, for many, green initiatives are middle to low priority, often considered but secondary to price and convenience.  So why should you care about green?

Customers today are increasingly interested in green alternatives. In the recent report Why Every Online Retailer Needs To Think Green, Sucharita Mulpuru uses Forrester’s consumer Technographics® data to reveal that more than 50% of today's US online adults can be categorized as green consumers, interested in buying green products or buying from brands that engage in green initiatives, such as supply chain transparency or carbon reporting. For online retailers, this represents a significant growth opportunity, as the majority of this consumer segment is not only classified as “high spending,” but also willing to spend more on green alternatives, and more likely to advocate for these products.

Green initiatives provide competitive differentiation to reclaimed capital. Many large enterprises have embraced green investments as an opportunity to showcase creativity, technological achievement, and their brand’s commitment to the environment. Tech giants like Apple and eBay have invested in renewable energy solutions from solar fields to fuel cells. For smaller organizations without billions in cash on hand, a commitment to green can be a harder sell. However, with effective prioritization, green practices can help any organization achieve greater efficiencies, reduce costs, and increase shareholder value. For example, KPMG reduced its energy bill by 12.7% by increasing the data center temperature from 69°F to 74°F.

In the data center, green, efficiency, and cost savings go hand in hand. As organizations seek to differentiate with innovative technology solutions, data center efficiency will become more critical to combat stagnant or shrinking IT budgets, helping to reclaim space, power, and cooling capacity; reduce overhead costs; and postpone expensive expansions. With average enterprise data centers operating at PUEs of 1.8 to 2.9, translating to an average of 45% to 65% of data center energy consumed by power and cooling overhead infrastructure, for many there is room for improvement.

Across all facets of data center operations, there are a variety of green initiatives well suited for any less than optimal facility, ranging from application rationalization and strategic outsourcing with aaS solutions to efficient hardware utilization and flexible site selection.

Continue the discussion. In the upcoming Webinar on Global Green Data Center Best Practices, Doug Washburn and I will continue this discussion, sharing best practices from established data center providers to average enterprises, helping participants identify and assess the practicality of green investments and answer the following:

–          Why is green important to your business?

–          Why is green important to your data center?

–          What green data center best practices should you follow?

–          How should your organization prioritize green data center investments?