Green IT

So What Is This “Green Audit” Anyway?

I had a conversation with a customer today in our internal forums that I thought I’d share here. He said that tons of companies are claiming to be green and that usually it doesn’t mean anything.

He wanted to know what went into our internal ‘green audit’. Here are a few of my comments to him:

ServInt is doing what I think everybody should be doing, which is starting to find ways to operate more responsibly with more consideration for every aspect of how we operate. That means every aspect – from how our employees get to work in the morning to where the energy comes from to fuel our generators and everything in between. ServInt may use the word ‘green’ for lack of a better term, but it is an easy way to encapsulate what we are trying to accomplish.

Do we have a very, very long way to go? Absolutely. But I want to tell people we’re thinking about it and that we have tried to take some real action to attempt to do things right. We have built tools to analyze the environmental aspects of the way we do what we do.

We didn’t start green, so we have even further to go than somebody who built their datacenter in an area with more abundant renewable power sources like wind, solar, geothermal or hydroelectric. But we try.

What goes into the audit? It’s a lot – and it’s mostly long and dull. Covering meeting our ‘marketed’ green goals is the easy part. After that it’s an audit not only of power resource usage but of office utilization. For example we audit how paper is used – WHAT paper is used – whether our own internal ‘paperless’ goals have been met. It covers what monitors are in use and what their wattage is – what the lighting is in the offices and datacenters – what the maintenance schedule of the HVAC systems are and a ton of other stuff like that, which together in the end tell us that we are meeting today’s goals for energy conservation.

Tomorrow’s goals will be even higher, and we will meet those too.

Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives

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