When it comes to going green, IT can be both part of the problem and part of the solution. It has been shown that information and communications technology accounts for close to 2% of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, around the same amount as produced by the aviation industry. However, IT also gives us the tools to reduce our energy consumption and give us an inside look at how we are using our resources.
We recently spoke with a number of green IT advocates at the PepCom conference – amongst them was filmmaker and environmentalist Sebastian Copeland, who shared with us his advice on encouraging your friends and coworkers to go green. We’ve partnered with Sebastian to provide technology for a number of his previous extreme excursions, including his recent walk to the North Pole. Check out my colleague at HP, Greta Schlender, interview Sebastian in the video below.
Copeland stresses the importance of accountability for our actions at all levels – and says the three modes of social change to achieve a greener world are individuals, elected officials, and businesses. He believes that as employees in government, we have the ability to influence in all three modes – as individual consumers we can develop good habits to turn off the lights or shutdown our computers every day, as elected officials we can push for the new green policies that our environment needs and our constituency demands, and as part of a office within that government organization we can encourage others in our facility to go green with us.
Copeland also reminds us that the first step towards sustainability is assuring that everyone has the proper education about what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Plans to educate can also be executed on by individual consumers, government officials and businesses alike. For starters, begin by looking for efficiency labels like EnergyStar or our HP Eco Highlights label that indicate products that meet energy-savings environmental standards and use innovative materials. At HP, we’ve learned there are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint (some which may surprise you). And if you are looking for more ways to go green in your office, check out my recent post about some of the methods that you can use to reduce energy consumption within your agency.