You Got to Be Kidding Me!

IBM Opens Green Consulting Practice

Posted in Computers and Software, Economics, Environment, Going Green by Stacy McMahon on August 20, 2008

Information Week is reporting that IBM will market consulting services to help companies manage their resource consumption, with an eye to finding ways of both cutting costs and earning “green” PR cred. This is a lot of the same stuff we could all do in our houses, and a lot of it is low-hanging fruit once you make the effort to keep track of what you use and how you use it:

Typically, IBM will use third-party technology to monitor and meter energy and water use, according to Lubowe. The Carbon and Water Management Dashboard, which measures water use and carbon output, can be displayed on anything from an IBM dashboard like WebSphere Monitor or dashboards from IBM’s Cognos to a third-party dashboard, which IBM can interface with through SOA techniques. By using dashboards, companies can pinpoint particular problem areas and start deciding what can be done about them.

IBM will take that data and, along with the client, determine things like where the water is going and how it is used. Then the companies work on solutions: can the water be recycled? Can it be used as gray water for irrigation on campus? What are the 22 places where water is most used in the building and what can be done to cut that usage? At that stage, IBM will present a company with ROI analysis of the possibilities and implement the changes.

Unsurprisingly, this approach fits in pretty well with the similar type of infrastructure monitoring IBM (and others) provide for IT resources. What’s nice about it is that companies have fairly strong economic and image reasons to want to pursue these strategies, and it’s exactly the kind of specialized expertise that makes sense to outsource. And of course, for a large organization the potential savings would cover a nice fee for the consultant!


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