Green froth confuses customers

Green froth confuses customers

Marketing is confusing firms who want to become green

Over-marketing from suppliers keen to promote their green credentials is hindering IT departments’ environmentally-friendly policies, says a survey.

Only one per cent of professionals considers suppliers’ green puff to be excellent, and 60 per cent say it is poor or confusing, according to research from charity Global Action Plan.

A key issue is that vendors all use different benchmarks to market the efficiency of their products. By promoting its own agenda, the IT industry is slowing progress, said Global Action Plan director Trewin Restorick. “Vendors are confusing the issue,” he said. “Companies know what they want to do but can’t make the right choices because there is so much marketing froth.”

As technology becomes ever more pervasive, green issues are moving up IT department agendas.

IT accounts for about 10 per cent of UK energy use. There are about 10 million office PCs in use and 48 per cent more storage was sold last year than the year before.

Some businesses are addressing the subject. By 2008, the John Lewis Partnership will have virtualised more than half its computing power, saving £100,000 in new server purchases, £8,000 in power costs and 250 tonnes of CO2.

And Britannia building society is cutting an annual £34,000 from its bills ­ and an estimated 222 million tonnes from its carbon footprint ­ by encouraging staff to switch off.