CompTIA's Green Thumb

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I’m just back from the wildly successful CompTIA EMEA Member Conference in the UK where I was struck by how green everything was– and I’m not just talking about the lush landscape. The Green movement was evident everywhere in the UK, from things as simple as switched outlets and compact florescent lighting everywhere, to motion sensing escalators that “sleep” to conserve power and mirrored ceiling panels that reflect light and heat into the stands of the Ascot Racecourse where the event was held.

Green IT also was a prevalent topic among EMEA Conference speakers and attendees. Environmentalism was mentioned as a planetary imperative and as an economic opportunity during formal presentations and informal conversations alike. The energy efficiencies of virtualization and cloud computing were hot topics at the conference, in part because the UK Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment will soon require large organizations to monitor and report energy usage, and to pay fines for poor performance.

Green IT is an important global issue and CompTIA has several Green IT initiatives in the works. A recent CompTIA survey of IT executives entitled Green IT: Insights and Opportunities found that most are committed to Green IT even if the return wouldn’t be realized for some time. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents said that Green IT was a mid- to high-level priority for them and 60 percent of organizations already have in place either a partial or comprehensive Green IT strategy covering issues such as energy consumption, equipment usage, recycling, carbon footprint and green behaviors.

To help IT professionals determine how their green ideals are best applied to information technology, we are exploring evaluation tools, identifying industry best practices and developing resources for Green IT. For example, we are gathering state-level information on recycling for our members and identifying processes for the proper disposal of IT equipment. Also, we are working on a Green IT certificate that we hope to have available in early December. Clearly, most IT executives are thinking green proactively and progressively – and so are we.

CompTIA is working to leverage Green IT practices to help those in need. The CompTIA Educational Foundation is asking companies to purge their technology closets on November 6, 2009 and to send their outdated equipment to the Bids 4 Futures Auction. Proceeds from the auction will be used to fund the Creating Futures program, which provides career opportunities to groups of people historically under-represented in the IT industry, including military veterans, individuals with disabilities, minorities, women, at-risk youth and dislocated workers. Training, mentoring, courseware, practice exams, and certification vouchers are provided at no cost to these individuals.

CompTIA is committed to improving the environmental impact of IT. We’ll be offering more research, tools and materials to help you in your Green IT efforts in the coming months, so stay tuned!
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