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What Makes a Company Turn Green

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RISMEDIA, Jan. 24, 2008-It is almost impossible for one to pick up a newspaper, magazine or access the Internet without seeing an article concerning the “greening” of Corporate America. A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive® with more than 300 IT decision makers indicates there is a plethora of thoughts and activities for “Going Green.” While the majority of companies have implemented “Going Green” strategies with recycling and proper waste disposal, overall only 41% of corporations have deployed virtualization or server consolidation strategies to save on energy cost.

What is “Going Green”?

Today, as part of their corporate citizenship, brand equity, and go to market strategy, some corporations are implementing a “Going Green” strategy. One definition of “Going Green” is designing, selling, or funding eco-friendly products and services. For example, does your company recycle old electronic products to properly dispose of electronic waste such as lead and mercury?

Innovative “Green Thinking”: Why or Why Not?

Attitudes for adopting “Green Thinking” are diverse among the IT professionals surveyed. About 16% might be put in an “anti-green camp,” saying that corporations should be environmentally friendly only if they can do so and achieve their profitability goals. However, 71% might be described as “pro green”, believing that corporations should go beyond governmental requirements in their efforts to be environmentally friendly (39%) and that they should be environmentally friendly even if they have to sacrifice some of their profitability goals (32%).

Among those IT professionals that either have implemented a going green strategy or are in a pilot phase, fifty seven percent say “Going Green” is good for business. Fifty-five percent say that “going green” reduces their energy costs, thus improving profitability, while 53% say that being environmentally friendly is a corporate value. Only 27% say that the decision to implement this strategy is due to top management, and 21% say that the implementation is due to government regulatory requirements.

On the flipside, for those with that have not implemented a “green strategy”, the reasons for not implementing are varied:

Twenty-six percent says that they “fully comply with current governmental regulations for environmental safety”, while 25% says that they have other pressing corporate needs;

One quarter isn’t sure of what actions that they must take to “Go Green” in the most cost effective way;

Twenty percent indicate that they don’t have the funds to implement a “Going Green” strategy;

Sixteen percent feel that they are already environmentally friendly.

How Do They Do It? Actions Taken in ‘Going Green’

Nevertheless, despite the positive attitude toward “going green” efforts, the plot thickens when asked about the firms’ actual actions in becoming “a green company” and when focusing on the actions that are underway. Ultimately, there appears to be a lot more bark than bite, since most of the action is in recycling programs and very few firms are doing the heaving lifting that includes adopting alternative power solutions and designing energy efficient buildings.

Only nine percent say they have a fully implemented plan across all areas of their respective companies and about 32% say they are in “pilot mode” or have partially implemented something in departments considered appropriate. Nearly one-quarter (23%) say their company has no plan at all.

According to Milton Ellis, vice president and senior consultant of the Harris Interactive Technology Practice, “‘Going Green’ represents a win-win opportunity for IT suppliers and users of virtualization technologies. More people would agree that being kind to our environment is a good thing. So like motherhood and apple pie, wouldn’t you expect businesses to get behind the ‘Going Green’ movement? Seems like a logical thing to do.”

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between November 7 and 20, 2007, among 308 IT decision makers (i.e., those who are responsible for technology product and service purchase decisions for their company).The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. businesses based on company size.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

For more information, visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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