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Green companies attract customers
Friday, 20 November 2009 00:00

Recent global research highlights that consumers are prepared to pay more for sustainable or 'green' products, and would consider switching from non-sustainable brands to those that embrace sustainability.

For example, a World Wildlife Fund report titled: 'Let them eat cake' explored the consumer's need for responsible brands. Compiled by Anthony Kleanthous and Jules Peck Kleanthous, it argued that more and more consumers are concerning themselves with environmental and social issues.

Inter alia, they quoted that 53% of UK and 66% of US consumers have considered switching brand due to corporate social responsibility, 18% of UK consumers have actually purchased as a result of a company's ethical reputation, and 18% have participated in an ethically motivated boycott.

In addition, 35% of UK consumers have felt guilty about unethical purchases and 51% said they or their family had boycotted a company because its products damage the environment, while 63% approved of a tax to discourage behaviour that harms the environment.

In light of this, and the increased local interest in sustainable living, South African companies would do well to critically examine the role that green IT can play to assist them to save money and minimise their carbon footprint, while making themselves more attractive to today's more concerned customers.

With this in mind, Bateleur Software hosted a breakfast seminar in the Mother City to show Capetonians how to use technology to 'go green' in the office, and, very importantly, boost productivity.

One of the guest speakers, Shaun Diamond from the Ecotoo consultancy, presented the audience with a handful of frightening statistics before endorsing the tips suggested by AT&T Tech Channel for greening your office.

“IT currently accounts for 2% of the world's energy consumption; a scary thought when you realise that's equivalent to the energy consumed by the airline industry,” he said.

“In addition, over the next five years, consumers and businesses will replace more than 800 million PCs worldwide; what will happen to these? And, consider this: one sheet of A4 paper emits 12.5g of carbon dioxide during its production, but 21% of printed paper is thrown away – what a waste – and 44% of printing is avoidable.

“On a personal basis, there is much you can do to make your IT experience greener. As AT&T Tech Channel says: use an LCD instead of a CRT; consider a laptop because it is designed to run on battery not mains power; kill the screen saver; use your computer's sleep function; buy Energy Star compliant machines, and recycle.”

June Julyan, Bateleur's ASG-Mobius Product Manager, extended the argument into the workplace and the corporation: “One office worker can use a quarter ton of materials in a year – which includes 10 000 pieces of paper. And that one worker can spend up 200 hours a year going through paper or finding paper. So, going green at the office is not just supporting the environment, but really making workers more efficient.

“People buy from green companies,” she said. “It makes sense, therefore, for you to explore a paperless solution for the office, the factory and the warehouse.”

Julyan also pointed out that, during a recession, the most critical factor is delivering ROI. Energy use in IT is high and a green footprint can dramatically reduce your power usage, cut down on paper and printing, and reduce transport costs – all helping the environment and your bottom line.

ViewDirect, powered by ASG-Mobius, provides access through a Web browser to mission-critical documents, reports and images. Its ability to support high-volume, high-performance, simultaneous-access requirements in distributed environments that range from the desktop to the mainframe has made it the industry leader in content management solutions.

Julyan elaborated: "Bank of America, with 150 000 users, was motivated to stop printing – they now use ViewDirect and they don't print. The solution is flexible and customisable and all available through a user-friendly Web-browser interface.

“And, ViewDirect is better than paper because it is value-added. You could use it at an Internet cafe in Barcelona with no problem, as access is Web-enabled and it runs easily from a Windows or Unix server to a massive mainframe.

"In seconds, ViewDirect pulls and collates thousands of pages of information into a spreadsheet, which can then be used for analysis and decision-making with any format available for successful archiving, from formatted statements and reports to Word, Excel, Pdf, e-mail, pictures, video, etc.

“It is a workable, controllable environment to distribute and keep information for customers and internal staff, which eliminates distribution costs, including transport, mailing and courier costs, while making the right information available online immediately. And you don't need to change your existing system, which makes you more responsible and efficient."

ASG-Mobius content management solutions will reduce your costs, drive customer service and self-service to superior levels and leverage your technology investments.

"It's a no-brainer really," concluded Julyan, "it's a decision from energy wasting to energy saving – as simple as our transition from the old incandescent light bulb to the new energy-efficient light bulb."

 

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