Feb 27, 2012

How much do you consider environmental issues when making IT purchases?

Do most companies seriously look at environmental impact when making IT purchases, or is it one of those things that is a talking point for advertisements more than a real world focus for most companies?


It is a tertiary concern, to be honest, after performance and cost.  That isn't to say that if a greener option exists and up front cost is marginally higher, we wouldn't still go with it.  There may be tax advantages that offset some  of the increased acquisition cost, and cost over lifetime may actually be less with a greener option.  Also, "green" can mean different things, from the method of manufacture to increased efficiency.  Lower power consumption is a benefit to both the user and the environment, but if the acquisition cost is excessive enough to significantly shift our ROI, we would be hard pressed to justify the expense.  There is the other end of the life cycle as well, and it takes only slight effort to dispose of obsolete equipment in a eco-friendly manner, and in many cases local/state regulations govern electronics disposal anyway.  I suppose it is like most individuals to be really honest; we are willing to make an effort to be green, as long as the cost and effort required isn't too high.   

I suspect it may be one of a number of things that companies look at, along with cost & quality (among other things). I think it might be hard for a company to base an IT purchase mostly on environmental issues, since it's not always clear on how to measure such things.

On the other hand, it probably makes sense to buy from IT suppliers that offer a good recycling program so you can get rid of older computers with as little expense and headache as possible. Also, consider how energy efficient an IT purchase is, as that might affect your overall power expense over time.
Answer this