Going Green: How Softchoice is making an impact on the environment

Going Green: How Softchoice is making an impact on the environment

To help reduce their carbon footprint, search-engine giant Google decided to scrap their lawn mowers and rent goats to munch on their lawns instead. Not only are these goats much more environmentally-friendly than lawn mowers, but as Google puts it, “goats are a lot cuter to watch!”

Softchoice hasn’t yet progressed to renting goats to do our landscaping, but we’re doing our part to take care of the environment with some other green initiatives. Being a technology provider, we know it’s important to look at how we can become more conscious of implementing more environmentally-aware practices when it comes to technology – after all, the IT industry produces the same carbon emissions as the airline industry, approximately 1 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year. While we may be excited about the technology advances we’ve seen recently (i.e. iPads, Google Maps, social media outlets), we have to be conscious of the amount of energy it takes to run the servers and infrastructure that support these tools.

Of course, while data centers can be obvious energy gorgers, there are ways that IT companies can run their centers to help reduce their carbon footprint. To find out how Softchoice is making our data center greener, I sat down with Softchoice IT Infrastructure Manager Lester Moniz. Lester explained the top 3 green IT initiatives that Softchoice has been focusing on recently: [Read more…]

CSR Programs: Why some thrive and others nose-dive.

Your sustainability plan isn’t worth a beaver dam if your employees aren’t engaged in the strategy.

Just like the hard-working beaver, employee commitment makes a huge difference in the environment!

This year when Softchoice was named to Canada’s Green 30, I wondered if there was a common thread among the organizations recognized. After reading more about them, I found that their employees’ feedback not only put them on the list, but employee involvement is driving the success of their sustainability programs.

This isn’t surprising. As with many workplaces, engaged employees are the internal change agents, fueling innovation and success of many programs. According to GreenResearch’s 2012 Annual Sustainability Executive Survey, staff engagement is one of the top two sustainability trends for 2012 – simply because “engaged employees make things happen”. They are the “make-it-or-break-it” factor. [Read more…]

Green Supply Chain: Where to start?

When faced with the task of greening your supply chain, where do you start? You may even start by asking what is a supply chain? Very briefly described, supply chain is all the steps involved in getting a product to the end customer. For a tangible product, this means obtaining raw materials, turning them into your product and then delivering them to your customer. In many cases a single company does not produce all of the components and resources needed to complete this task. Building all of the components of a computer would mean manufacturing the computer chips, producing plastics, electrical components, all the way to LED lights, etc. The basic business model does not include the production of every item on a bill of materials. To solve this problem companies tend to address their make or buy decisions by weighing out the benefits of manufacturing vs. sourcing. If outsourcing costs less or the company does not have the expertise to produce the product in question, they will opt to purchase it from another company rather than invest in the resources necessary for production. When this decision is made the company gives up the control and oversight of the manufacturing process. This is where the challenge of greening a reseller’s supply chain becomes difficult. [Read more…]

Want to add some “green” to your Annual Report?

As we head into the final quarter of the year, there’s always someone in your organization thinking about how to describe the organization’s successes this year for the Annual Report. Record sales, industry awards, new ventures are all news worthy developments…but what about green?  Large organizations tend to have an entire separate report dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility, but more and more organizations are just including a few key green initiatives in their main Annual Report.

But what if you don’t have anything to share? Many projects in IT are implemented for their business value, but have great green benefits too! You may have an amazing energy saving story right under your nose.

Fostering a green culture

A big focus of Softchoice’s strategy is enabling our customers to green their IT infrastructure. At the same time, we recognize we must practice what we preach. When it comes to greening our operations, it’s about finding projects that address areas where we can make the biggest difference while also engaging our employees.
Whether it’s reducing energy consumption or eliminating waste generated by daily operations, we’re taking real steps to minimize our environmental impact. Our goal is to become North America’s IT supplier of choice for organizations looking to green their supply chain. [Read more…]

Virtual and Greener

As all of us in IT know by now, the fastest was to decrease the size of your data center is to virtualize in some way or another.  For those of you who have not yet tried it you need to give it a shot.  For those of you who have some applications virtualized but not all, then take a look at what you are working with to see if you can virtualize even more.

With free basic software versions from VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix there is no reason to not try it out and see what you think.  Before you know it you will start seeing fantastic results in power reduction (and power bills), cooling, and physical space in your data center.  You can use capacity planners to figure out what to virtualize next.  These planners will detail all of the utilization numbers of your existing machines and then tell you what kind of a machine you need to put all your VMs on.

We have been seeing up to a 30 to 1 physical server consolidation ratio.  Imagine taking the power, space and manageability issues of 30 servers out of your environment!  What a relief. [Read more…]