The Death of Green IT? May Not be a Bad Thing

Phil Wilcock
Jan 19, 2011

Green IT was pronounced dead this week, and I’m glad. To be honest I think the death was long overdue, as I really do dislike labels like that. In fact I would go so far as to say that I object to the word ‘Green’ being applied to anything anymore! Green housing, cars, transport, buildings, food, clothes etc etc, stop it now! For us, Green IT was what we used to call best practice..

The proclamation of the demise of so called Green IT comes from a report by Verdantix, entitled Green Quadrant Sustainable Technology Services. Apparently the whole Green IT movement was a fad, which was killed by the 2009 recession, or so says Stuart Neumann, an industry analyst at Verdantix.

In the report, Verdantix analyzed IT service delivery capabilities for building energy efficiency, renewable energy, intelligent transport, electric vehicles, carbon and energy management software, climate change risk modeling and utility smart grid. It seems that Green IT has been eclipsed by the larger concept of ‘Sustainable Technology Services’. You see, they just couldn’t resist another label, so in the coming months be prepared to execute a ‘find and replace’ in all your documented Green IT references!

Seriously though, I do welcome this change as it signifies a shift by companies towards a more joined up approach to sustainability across the board. People are finally realizing that sustainability simply must be built into the business across all sectors in order to remain competitive.

“The sustainable business market opportunity for technology services firms is in transition. Only a handful of thought leaders globally understand where the chips will fall” commented Stuart Neumann, Verdantix Industry Analyst and author of the report. “Technology services firms rooted in outmoded green IT thinking are already losing out on multi-million dollar contracts. Our research found that large multi-nationals and city leaders want IT support for new sustainability initiatives such as electric vehicle infrastructure, offshore wind farms and global carbon management systems. Technology investment in these new areas is much larger than spend on green IT projects like data centre energy efficiency and PC power management.”

Despite my general agreement with the contents of this report, I do think that at the moment only a handful of companies actually get this. Green IT is just like the advance boarding party, and is often the ‘lowest hanging fruit’ of sustainability, so it was inevitable that it should receive the label. In PC and Server Power Management for instance there are still massive savings to be made, and software deployment and licensing remain largely untouched in terms of efficiency and therefore sustainability. In short, we have a long way to go..


When, like ourselves here at 1E you have been involved in PC Power Management and other IT efficiency technology for over 10 years, you see buzzwords come and go. Eventually I hope that Sustainable Technology Services goes the way of Green IT and that ‘green-ness’ and sustainability doesn’t need to be waved around like a big stick, because here at 1E it’s simply the way that we do, and have always done business.