Sustainable Working Is Booming, Says BT

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Businesses adopting green working practices have increased ten-fold as companies respond to the recession, according to BT

An increasing number of companies are adopting green and sustainable technologies and working practices despite tighter budgets resulting from the downturn, according to research.

BT Global Services says there has been a ten-fold increase in companies adopting green working practices and a three-fold increase in remote working over the last year, the company claimed in a statement.

BT claims it has seen an increasing number of companies adopt its Carbon Impact Assessment service since it was launched last year – particularly in the security and defence sectors, which are facing pressures from central government to reduce carbon emissions.

“Organisations are embracing new ways of working and becoming environmentally friendly, even during these challenging economic times, or perhaps as a result of them,” said Emer Timmons, president of BT Global Professional Services, president.

BT is not the only services company to have seized on the opportunities around green and sustainable computing. All the key IT and management consultants now focus to some degree in green or energy efficiency practices. In 2007, IBM launched project Big Green and claimed it was investing $1 billion in technologies designed to improve energy efficiency in data centers.

Before the downturn, businesses were attracted by the kudos and cost-cutting associated with greener working but tough economic conditions have turned a need for greater efficiency from a benefit to a necessity for many companies.

However, analysts warn that companies need to think through any adoption of so-called sustainable working practices to make sure that they are really efficient in the long term and don’t actually results in greater costs in terms of infrastructure or staff.

Kathryn Weldon, principal analyst, enterprise mobility at Current Analysis says remote working – such as opening up applications to mobile access – need to be planned properly to realise how it might impact existing working patterns “Many companies have been throwing together solutions to allow mobile access without first analysing all the implications from a workflow or organisational perspective,” she said.

BT claims that its consultants recently found that by switching to a thin-client computing and improving the efficiency of its data centres, one government organisation could potentially reduce its carbon emissions whilst saving tax payers £3 million.