How to Intersect Telecom and Green Goals


I am trying to live a greener life. I’ve installed (two kinds of) solar panels, tightly insulated my home, and replaced many bulbs to CFL. But living green isn’t a single project or task – it needs to permeate throughout our decisions and actions.

What would Jesus do?

By Jesus, of course, I am referring to my former Mexican Gardner that was really good at making things green.

Seriously, being green impacts our decisions throughout each and every day. Do I throw this away, recycle it, or compost it (we have significantly reduced our trash at the house). What types of soaps to use. I am finding myself buying things more often (than before) based on their packaging or point of origin. (Rant: Don’t bother asking Whole Foods information on local products; oh how I miss Wild Oats).

But then comes our professional world. As a small business owner, I am really beginning to see the value of the cloud (our computer room a/c had a mishap last week). I see the ewaste building up in the warehouse, and I know personally some of the challenges associated with telecommuting (expense reports). I see customers struggling with telecommuting implementations, and challenged with integrating mobility into comprehensive solutions.

I decided this green thing needs to be carried out further than the compost bin. We significantly increased teleworking, we are looking really hard at thin clients, and possibly even eliminating the computer room. We need to use technology to enable a greener lifestyle.

The fact was my personal interests and business conduct were not aligned. It isn’t easy either – the telecom/computing/business world is not green ready. The information we are provided rarely allows us to make decisions from a conservation point of view. We manage so many factors, human factors, technology directions, productivity, longevity, reliability, etc. but how many telecom managers know if their IP phones are using more or less power than their old digital phones (I have tried to determine this and the data isn’t readily accessible). The point is we are not evaluating our technology from a carbon point of view. In our careful thorough business case reviews, how often do we really examine/compare emissions in addition to ROI and productivity? Or better yet, optimize for reduced carbon emissions?

I decided to take it from the top in an article i wrote at – The Next Technology Imperative: Green. It isn’t as telecom specific as I normally write, but the fact is most telecom is done by the IT department now and this requires a broader discussion.

The really cool thing about being green is it often makes sense on more levels than one. Often there is financial justification supporting green decisions, and there is often employee support that makes it even easier.

Check it out. Make Kermit proud

Dave Michels