by Diann Daniel

If you don’t start thinking green, your customers will make you. And then how will you look?

Dec 14, 2007 3 mins
IT Leadership

One of the top five technology trends for 2008 will be mounting pressure on technology to come up with green solutions, predicts Booz Allen Hamilton.

Americans threw away 2.6 million tons of electronic goods containing toxic substances in 2005, says Booz Allen in a report on tech trends for 2008. Numbers like that and the heated attention around global warming and energy efficiency is drawing local, state and federal government action—and greater public scrutiny.

Already Australia, California and the U.S. Congress have introduced legislation to ban the common incandescent bulb and replace it with the new, energy-saving model. Booz Allen predicts scrutiny will soon fall on power-hungry appliances like computers and televisions, since many drain power 24/7.

Image evoking profit through green technology

Sleep mode won’t be good enough; regulators will likely push for new TVs and computers that actually turn off when not in use. In addition, the glare of public and government attention will also be directed towards energy-hungry cooling systems, and may revive more efficient liquid cooling systems.

Some companies are already taking green seriously: Google has announced its intention to generate its own electricity for its new data centers using wind and solar power. And IBM has developed a greener way to recycle scrap silicon and other waste from its microprocessor wafer manufacturing process.

That green is rising in importance for business—and therefore IT—executives, is backed up by a recent McKinsey Quarterly global survey on business and society:

“Environmental issues, including climate change, have soared to the top of the sociopolitical agenda in executive suites around the worlds…Executives expect that the environment will attract more public and political attention and affect shareholder value far more than any other societal issue; almost nine out of ten respondents say that they themselves worry about global warming.”

But here’s the thing:’s site metrics tell a different story. If green or environmental is in the headline, it’s a virtual guarantee that few will click on the link. Even when we discuss how going green can lead to profitability.

So my question is: Do you just not care? Or is there a different way we need to cover the issue or a different kind of information we should deliver that will better speak to your needs?

I’d really like to think the answer is: “I care.”

Because we’re not just talking business issues or profit, we’re talking people. Like your children, for example. And just what kind of world do you want to leave them?

So e-mail me or say here what your thoughts are on this subject. Let’s get this conversation started before public scrutiny forces an embarassing game of catch-up.