You are the captain of your Enterprise…

“One of the advantages of being a Captain is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.”  – James T. Kirk

You don’t need to have the heavily punctuated dialect of Captain Kirk to be able to enjoy the benefits of video conferencing. New technology is making it even easier to connect with clients and colleagues from the bridge of your boardroom…without having to travel light years or sacrifice the human touch (unless you are meeting with Vulcans!)

But are people really using it? It can really cut your costs as well as your carbon footprint by leveraging the in which you have technology you have invested to reduce travel. One barrier I’ve found is that people don’t really know video conferencing etiquette and it’s intimidating.

I found this fantastic how-to guide on video conferencing that outlines things that your staff needs to know (and it might make them warm up to it more) like avoiding bright colors or busy patterns and addressing people in the meeting by name. 

You can read it here ….  enjoy and live long and prosper!

3 Rules for Crowdsourcing Your Sustainability Projects

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about ways to take our green strategy to the next level. We’ve done a bunch of great projects and have a passionate green team, but how do we do more and get more employees involved? We have a blog and a twitter account, so we are utilizing social media. But it’s been more of a communication vehicle than something that “engages” our stakeholders. I came across this article today, and it’s an interesting way to get people involved. We don’t have the brand recognition of GE or eBay, so I’m not sure how well it would work for us. But I want to add it to the things to do list for next year.

A new trend in the corporate pursuit of sustainability has emerged: crowd-sourcing via social media. While adoption has been easy, gaining useful ideas has not. By looking at three recent efforts — GE’s Smart Grid challenge, eBay’s Green Team, and a leading European retailer’s green customer foray — three rules for companies considering crowd-sourcing of sustainability ideas are coming into focus. Read more

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buyub6vIG3Q

Don’t miss out on a gift to green your data center

Data center efficiency projects such as virtualization, consolidation, power and cooling upgrades all have pretty strong business cases and ROI. The reduction in hardware means lower operating and managing costs for your organization.

Many utilities are now sweetening the deal and offering rebates and incentives that put an extra bang into your business case.  Some of these rebates are paid out per kilowatt hour saved (usually 5 – 11cents per kw) and others are a percentage of the overall project costs (anywhere from 35 – 50% of your project cost paid for) [Read more...]

Greener Meetings

Working in a remote office I have seen the good and the bad of attending webinars.  The good parts being that of course it is much greener and easier to attend than having to drive and fly somewhere.  But sometimes it is hard to hear or be heard and our video isn’t always the best.  Overall I would say that the good outweighs the bad.  Obviously for a company of our size it doesn’t make sense to have everyone travel to 1 location. 

The Chicago conference room

 To take costs down one step further, as well as make our meetings even greener, we only give the meeting link and the phone numbers to managers instead of every employee.  This means we are using a lot less phone lines and computers to have everyone attend the meeting.  I actually prefer this way because everyone in their own offices gets together to view the meeting in Toronto on their projectors so its like we are all coming together for our own meetings.

Step on that scale

No matter what you celebrate during this month, it’s the season of giving, eating and communing with friends and family. Come January you are going to be trying to find ways to squeeze back into those jeans (for me it’ll be spinning)  While you think about ways to get leaner in the New Year, think about your IT infrastructure. How can you cut down on your energy consumption and make your carbon footprint that much smaller?

This fantastic article I just read outlines how IT can be leaner and greener. It talks about how companies can navigate through the new paradigm we are living in.  It says “Green IT is about making innovations a part of mainstream business. Companies that want to survive will prepare for change and transform to stay competitive, by adopting new strategies and solutions.”

Want to learn more as you ponder next year and how you can make an impact that’ll help the planet? Check out the article here.

A scanner could be your apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is my go-to ingredient when I’m cooking. It adds an air mystery to  a cous cous, romances tarragon in a salad dressing. It teases the taste buds in potato salad. Not to mention it’s good for me.  My grandma swore by it.

Another thing I swear by – my scanner. I have saved tons of space because I don’t have to store paper - and I can save paper by scanning instead of faxing documents (if your clients and suppliers aren’t using e-forms yet but that’s another post!) I found this great article on how to get started. If you decide to save some space by scanning your documents – why not use the backs of those pages for scrap paper.  The Organized Life writes: “Ready to undertake your own paper scanning project? Step 1 is to get your hands on a reliable, easy-to-use scanner. Choose one that…read more