This week, which includes Earth Day, much of the IT and telecommunications new cycle includes so-called “green technologies” – products, services and special initiatives that do things like decrease power consumption, reduce carbon footprints, recycle consumer electronics devices and generally benefit Mother Earth.
The truth is that many of the technologies we’re reading about simply are being recast in an environmental light – that they originally and primarily were launched, as so many technologies are, to cut costs and boost employee productivity.
Consider the virtual world business application from North America’s major telecom equipment vendor, financially troubled Nortel Networks Corp
A few months ago, as TMCnet reported
, the world’s fourth-largest maker of PCs, is using their so-called “web.alive
” software application in an “eLounge
” that allows shoppers to browse, demo and interact with other consumers, as well as Lenovo workers, in a real-time, three-dimensional environment. The financial benefits of Nortel’s (News
) (truly ground-breaking) technology are clear enough: The virtual store eases the e-commerce experience for consumers and saves on all kinds of overhead, including personnel and facilities costs.
Yet virtual collaboration also reduces travel – hence, benefits the environment by cutting back on carbon emissions.
The same goes for Nortel’s teleworking solutions.
“Companies can reduce the overall carbon footprint of their operations and save on real estate, heating and cooling cost,” Nortel officials tell TMCnet. “With the right technology, workers can get online, collaborate and work globally – they won’t miss their offices at all.”
Nortel itself has about 11 percent of its own workforce teleworking, which the company estimates
will save about $9,000 in real estate and associated energy costs per teleworking employee, and save an estimated 3.4 million gallons of fuel and 1.9 million hours in commute time per year.
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan