January 24, 2011, 11:34 AM — We usually think of " green IT " as making data centers more energy efficient. But there's another form of green IT emerging: the use of business intelligence systems to analyze data about a company's progress in meeting its environmental goals.
Deloitte Consulting LLP called it "sustainability analytics" in a report released late last year.
"Through analytics, leaders can obtain the fact-based guidance they need to make informed decisions about how their organizations approach sustainability and climate change issues," the report said.
For example, managers could analyze data to determine which of their sustainability initiatives are actually achieving their intended goals, and to allocate resources to efforts that have the greatest likelihood of satisfactory returns, Deloitte said.
The report cited one unnamed company that tracks metrics at 80 global facilities and was able to spot "facilities that consumed conspicuously large amounts of energy, as well as those where the cost of travel per employee was much higher than average." The company then took actions that saved money and reduced its carbon footprint.
Read more about applications in Computerworld's Applications Topic Center.