Buying Carbon Offsets

This project green initiative was to reduce or eliminate the impact of Softchoice’s logistics by purchasing carbon offsets. In case you are unfamiliar with what carbon offsets are, and how they work, the brief most direct definition is that carbon offsets are ways in which companies can have a positive impact on the environment to make up for  harm caused in its operation. The price of a carbon offset is generally based on the cost of an environmentally positive company reducing one ton of carbon in the atmosphere.  These offsets are issued by a third party who distributes the funds to companies working on green products or directly from the company. 

Initially the project was only to buy carbon offsets but later evolved to providing data direct to customers on the statistics and geographic route mapping of their purchase. Generally these were roughly twenty-six dollars per ton and could be bought by a variety of vendors. The second task in this purchase was to find out how many carbon credits were necessary.  After combing the internet for carbon calculators I was able to locate a company which had a calculator specific to shipping emissions. Using another calculator to determine the proper sample size needed to in order to draw conclusions about our total emissions I ran the sample through the calculator [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…]

Victory: It’s Yours for the Taking

Wondering how to begin your journey into the wild green yonder? They’re called ‘victory projects’. They’re simple, cost-effective initiatives that rarely require approval beyond senior IT management. They also yield big dividends for your business and the environment. Without the need to change behaviors or collaborate with other departments, your end users will end up being greener, even if from where they stand it is business as usual.

The philosophy is simple: go for the easy win. In attending to the low hanging fruit – and there is plenty to be had in most companies – you can build the case for those really ambitious projects that require significantly more in the way of resources and capital investment.

We’ve outlined three ideas that will give you a fast start out of the gates. Not only will you reap some early wins, you will also enjoy knowing that you’re laying the foundation for bigger green things to come.

[Read more…]