October 15, 2012
An article on technology website Computer World UK by IDC analyst David Daoud asks “Does green still resonate with procurement officers and IT managers?” following Apple’s temporary decision to withdraw from EPEAT.
Daoud claims that “there seems to be a lesser sense of urgency” with regards to the environmental impact of products compared to before the 2008 financial crisis, with procurement officers and IT managers focusing “more on dollars and compliance” than Green IT.
Daoud goes on to list Apple’s decision in July to withdraw from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) as one case in which the focus on environmental impact wavered, although the company reversed its decision soon after, citing customer feedback as one of the reasons to return to EPEAT as buyers threatened to remove the company from its list of suppliers. This suggests that Apple underestimated consumer views on green IT, with Daoud stating that “while the average buyers in Apple stores may not be so actively focused on power consumption per-se, Public Sector buyers know EPEAT very well and want OEMs to abide by it”.
However, Daoud goes on to highlight how procurement officers and IT managers have moved from focusing on Green IT by reducing power consumption and recycling hardware to focusing on survival and continuity following the 2008 financial crisis, with Kimberley Knickle, Practise Director, IT Priorities and Strategies at IDC Manufacturing Insights suggesting that this is due to the designing of environmentally friendly products and systems shifting “from consumer and user debate to implementation at the OEM and supplier level”.
As a result, many OEMs have increased the adoption of environmental initiatives such as collecting and recycling used electronics and adding environmental improvements in their products, but “for procurement executives and IT managers, the environment is not one of the components that keeps them awake at night”, being more concerned about “compliance on data security and on cost containment”.
Daoud concludes by emphasising the importance of making Green IT a priority within an organisation, stating that “this is not only because there are environmental implications […] but closer to cost containment, being environmental on the IT side means greater opportunities to reduce cost […] energy cost is high and will remain so, and recycling practices remain opaque and suffer from lack of transparency. Continuing to use environmental metrics and proper assessments are recommended. Only this way could the best IT companies emerge”.
Categories : Products and Technology