Green buildings, green computers, greenwashing and greenbacks. Have you heard enough yet? I hope not – because I’m afraid you are going to be hearing a lot more for a long time. The temptation is high to search through a company like Intel and label every good environmental practice or program – green.But to what end? Green credit? With who and for what? Part of my job is to monitor and engage emerging trends. The problem with this trend is that I’ve been working on it my entire career. This isn’t new. What’s new is everybody trying to claim credit. My test for credit is the 2R’s – real and relevant. Sometimes you don’t need both, but you must have at least one R to get credit in my book. Around here, I like to say we were green, before green was cool. But so were a lot of well managed companies I’d bet. We have our collection of environmental awards, environmental community programs, energy efficient products and design standards, a green certified building and even the Green Grid. Are there ways to be a leading global company and a leader in environmental policies and practices without branding everything “green”? I hope so, but only time will tell. We launched a project about a week ago with Google and a few more forward thinking technology companies called the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. No “green” in that title, but “climate saving” is pretty conspicuous. But getting back to my subject line, I think this is the trend of things to come – being smart about business. Doing what companies do best – innovating, solving challenges, giving customers what they want and doing so responsibly – hopefully that trend will never end. 54 million tons of CO2, equivalent to 11 million cars or twenty 500 MW coal-fired power plants and $5.5 billion. Those are big numbers and they are the projected annual savings the Climate Savers Computing Initiative is projected to achieve beginning in 2010. Sure, that’s a lot of greenness, but if companies consider the 2R’s – I think they can be green, make green and feel good about it.
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