Demystifying steps to greener organisation

By Dr Andrew Hutchison, International Presales Management at T-Systems in South Africa

Johannesburg, 12 Jan 2012
T-Systems Press Office
Read time 3min 40sec

Sustainable energy has emerged as an important corporate agenda point and many organisations today communicate their efforts in strategic marketing campaigns. These campaigns bring across the importance of sustainability efforts and how this will make a difference.

The challenge is to take this concept and implement it in a practical sense, says Dr Andrew Hutchison, International Presales Management at T-Systems in South Africa. Already there are leaders in the field, but the question remains: how should organisations incorporate this into their activities and also filter their ideas through to their various offices and branches - globally and locally?

Importantly, how does one instil a culture of 'green' through sustainable energy practices that offer tangible and measurable returns?

Technology plays an important role in the enablement of a greener society and assists organisations to implement measures that are tangible and offer practical results. One example is the use of videoconferencing as part of an organisation's unified communications and collaboration (UCC) strategy, which can mitigate unnecessary travel. Other examples include using smart navigation systems to find best and shortest routes, saving time and fuel - especially where a fleet or many vehicles are operated. Implementing recycling practices for technology assets can be another mechanism in working towards a greener organisation.

The above are well-known examples of today's practical implementation of green measures. The T-Systems approach is based on the international standardisation differentiation between direct and indirect environmental aspects, and leverages how these can make a difference. Areas which can have a direct impact on the environment include:

* Use and contamination of soil (including inside buildings)
* Use of energy (electricity, fuel, heating)
* Use of raw materials and resources (including operating materials, auxiliary materials and hazardous substances)
* Use of water and the creation of waste water
* Production and disposal of waste
* Waste air/exhaust gas
* Electromagnetic emissions
* Prevention of accidents and risks with environmental relevance

In addition to direct environmental aspects, there are also indirect aspects that can make a difference. Key indirect environmental aspects that can have a positive sustainability impact on products, services and solutions include:

* Substitution or elimination of paper
* Traffic avoidance via smart navigation or intelligent car and fleet management systems
* Energy savings through the optimum usage of resources within the organisation
* Substitution of hardware - using virtualised environments and cloud computing to drive down energy consumption

It should be clear from the preceding list that information and communication technology (ICT) can be a major enabler for improving various direct and indirect environmental issues.

Through obtaining ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems: Requirements) certification, T-Systems in South Africa has demonstrated - in addition to its four other ISO certifications in security, quality, service delivery and occupational health/safety - that an environmental management system forms a key part of its local activities and sustainability commitment. With this internal orientation and experience, T-Systems is well poised to assist and enable its clients in achieving their own sustainability goals. In particular, the local and international portfolio of “green ICT” services from T-Systems targets information and communication technology aspects in particular.

The green ICT activities of T-Systems have been recognised internationally. For example, in Austria, T-Systems received the IDC Green IT Award and the Vienna Environmental Award for the implementation of the green dynamics model.

The green dynamics model demonstrates potential cost, energy and carbon consumption reductions when applications are operated on a standardised, highly automated shared platform - such as the cloud computing platform in T-Systems.

There is no single solution, yet organisations undoubtedly stand to gain a lot by evaluating and identifying the direct and indirect environmental aspects which are unique to their operation. With the assistance of experienced service providers, the exercise need not be as onerous as it may initially seem. Through setting up a scorecard, the current status can be base-lined and improvements can then be targeted and achieved.

Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 128 million mobile customers, 35 million fixed-network lines and approximately 17 million broadband lines (as of 30 June 2011).

The group provides products and services for the fixed network, mobile communications, the Internet and IPTV for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in over 50 countries and has around 241 000 employees worldwide. The group generated revenue of EUR 62.4 billion in the 2010 financial year - more than half of it outside Germany (as of 31 December 2010).


Drawing on a global infrastructure of data centres and networks, T-Systems operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions. T-Systems provides integrated solutions for the networked future of business and society. The company's 47 600 employees combine industry expertise and ICT innovations to add significant value to customers' core business all over the world. T-Systems generated revenue of around EUR 9.1 billion in the 2010 financial year.

Editorial contacts
Evolution PR Tamzyn Tweddle (011) 462 0679
T-Systems Jane Wessels (+27) 011 254 7789
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