RTC dinner on Green IT (17 June 2008)

Greenwash and greenmail: Marketing, money, and the carbon agenda

IT consumes around 30% of the energy (and therefore the carbon footprint) of the average organization, and the problem of electronic waste is real and growing. Media coverage of global warming and climate change has focused the minds of both consumers and legislators on the issues. Like it or not, the emerging solutions are going to place the burden squarely on the shoulders of business. Add to that the growing realization that there are positive advantages to ‘going green’ (cost reductions, PR pay-offs, to name but two) and energy and environmental issues have shot to the forefront of business leaders’ thinking these days. Green is the new rock and roll.

Or is it? How much of what’s on the agenda today will still be there tomorrow? What proportion of the ‘green’ in business rhetoric and IT marketing is only one coat of paint thick? Does green mean anything more than greenbacks to governments and the financial community? Can we really meet the environmental targets being set, and does anyone actually care?

You will learn what the latest research from around the world is saying about these questions, where the opportunities lie for the IT industry, and what you as an individual and a leader within your business can, and should, be doing about possibly the most important issue of our time.

Jonathan Steel

Jonathan Steel is founder and CEO of The Bathwick Group, which researches how businesses actually buy and apply IT to their business in four key benchmark domains: Dynamic (flexible business models and infrastructure), Smart (information-rich business), Open (standards, collaboration), and Green.

Mr. Steel’s 20 years in ICT have included software engineering, consultancy, research, market analysis, publishing, and advisory services, and he is the author of books on SOA and Green IT. One of his special interests is what ‘green’ means in an IT context and in March ran the first European Green IT Summit and Awards in London. Before founding The Bathwick Group in 1997, Mr. Steel was Director of international strategic consulting at market research company IDC.