Monday, December 8, 2008

IBM: Green as Google?

Attended my first DC Energy Conversation tonight in person, and it was well worth the wait. The featured presentation was given by IBM Managing Director Todd Ramsey and outlined several key sectors in which IBM is bringing creative thought leadership to energy issues related to the government and commercial sectors. Topics included:
  • Data center efficiency (Project Big Green), including a new state-of-the-art facility in Boulder, CO (picture above)
  • Smart workforce management (increasing use of remote workers via online collaboration tools)
  • Intelligent transportation systems (to reduce congestion induced fuel waste)
  • Smart utility grid (adding intelligence to the grid reaps big energy savings)
Of these, Ramsey positioned data center efficiency projects as the real low hanging fruit opportunities from which many US companies could immediately reap substantial savings. In his experience, 40% savings were typical with 100% ROI achievable within 2 years. 

I also liked his slide showing that while IT operations are responsible for 2% of global energy consumption, IT efficiency solutions can bring substantial savings to the other 98%. For more info on IBM's energy efficiency and environmental initiatives go to:

I have to admit when the talk was over, I had to tell Mr. Ramsey that IBM's energy initiatives made the famously conservative company seem a lot hipper than I remember. In energy innovation, I'd say IBM is definitely giving Google a run for its money.

Photo: IBM

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