Managing your organisation’s strategy for green computing has come sharply into focus over the past few months. Some organisations have signalled their intention to be fully carbon neutral (for example, see IBM’s announcement that they will spend $1 billion on Project Big Green). Public sector organisations are also moving towards green computing initiatives through consideration of environmental sustainability during the procurement process.
So, here are some top tips for consideration when engaging with IT partners and vendors:
- Ask about their strategy for sustainable development and their environmental policies. Establish whether they can be delivered from the beginning of the project.
- Always force your suppliers to be accountable for their environmental impact by requesting they provide measurements of their performance and incentivise them to improve.
- Set realistic goals that the supplier can meet. Be clear and concise in your SLA negotiation and ensure measurements are easy to take.
- Agree a clear set of key performance indicators in to your contract to provide a benchmark against which you can measure your supplier’s performance.
Agreeing green strategies shouldn’t be adversarial; KPIs and SLAs are systems and processes that are well understood and used to cover non-green elements of IT contracts. It should be a simple extension to bring the same model in to play to cover environmental standards.