Green IT – Does the Consumer Understand It?

Last week I gave a presentation at CES outlining Intel’s environmental programs. The presentation was part of a workshop sponsored by IPC and JEDEC titled “The Challenges of Going Green.” Following the presentation, I participated on a panel with representatives from HP, Sony, TI, and Jabil. Although there were many questions and topics of discussion during the panel discussion, one question in particular struck home: “Why aren’t you doing more to educate consumers about the environmental aspects of your products?”

I think it’s fair to say that each company is attempting to do this today. There has been a tremendous increase in green marketing, messaging and product offerings. My first reaction was that perhaps the individual that asked the question was simply out of the loop or unaware of the marketing efforts underway. However, upon further reflection I realized that she was probably right. To test this thought, I turned to the expert – my wife. My wife is an extremely bright, highly energetic “soccer mom” constantly running here and there with 10 things to do and 4 children in tow. How she does it is worthy of a blog of her own!

The question I posed to her was: “If you were going to buy a green PC, what would you look for?” The look I got was a puzzled, blank stare as if I had just asked her to spend all weekend watching NFL playoff games (I did squeeze in one or two). I followed this question up with another: “If you were going to buy a green car, what would you look for?” At this question, her countenance changed and we were on the same page again, to which she replied: “Good gas mileage, probably a hybrid.”

I had my answer. Despite all the discussion across the IT industry, supply chain and within the environmental community, the average person is still very confused when it comes to green IT, green PCs, and related topics. I recently penned a short article for where I attempted to lay out a few of the more important environmental attributes that one should consider as well as a few tools available for selecting a green product. The article is certainly not the solution, but hopefully a small step in the right direction. As always, I welcome your thoughts on this topic and what we could do as Intel, or as an industry, to improve.

Todd Brady

About Todd Brady

Todd Brady is the Director of Global Public Affairs and Sustainability for Intel Corporation. In this role he leads state and local government affairs, media and community relations, corporate volunteerism and sustainability at the company's major manufacturing and office locations around the globe. In addition to overseeing regulatory and community engagement strategies in the US, China, Southeast Asia, Israel, Ireland and Latin America, he directs Intel’s global initiatives to make Intel “smart & green” by leading corporate-wide sustainability programs such as climate, energy and water conservation, green design and the integration of internet of things (IoT) solutions to create smart and green offices, buildings and facilities of the future. During his 20+ years at Intel, Todd has represented the company publicly in numerous forums and led industry-wide initiatives in many national and international committees. He has authored more than 20 papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings on a variety of sustainability topics. In 2009, he was named by Scientific American as one of ten outstanding leaders involved in research, business or policy pursuits that have advanced science and technology. Todd holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and a MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

One Response to Green IT – Does the Consumer Understand It?

  1. Wang Zhilong says:

    hello, Mr brady, exactly,it’s hard to make people to buy a green product,if we just say”this is a green PC,buy it, you are very responsible for our environment”. that’s not enough,I think,we should look for wisdom from economists who have a good understanding what consumers’efficiency is,who know what rules should be made to promote people to consume green products but not affect their efficiency. enjoy your blog! Zhilong