@info – The practical side of SharePoint

Green Week and Technology

Posted by sharepoinTony on November 18, 2009

This week is Green Week, so I thought I would post on that theme. There are growing numbers of discussions and activities in technology that are green related.

I have always felt that using technology to improve efficiency, increase the ease in finding information (ie knowledge management), managing content, and simplifying or tracking business processes made sense – and are green.


Because we can better see the impact on our society and planet when we point out and acknowledge that we are trying to act in a responsible manner.

Because when we can see the projects that do impact the planet around us it is easier to remind ourselves that we need to protect the environment that sustains us.

Because when we are sometimes so focused on ROI we miss the Social Impact; we miss the Social Responsibility;  we miss the Goodwill that is often achieved by projects that DO pay attention to these things.

The other night I caught a small portion of a documentary on TV.  It was about Coke in South Africa. One subtle  point they made was that when apartheid violence was at its height most foreign companies moved out.  Coke chose a different path.  They found a multi-racial group that was willing to buy the distributorships and remain in the country.  South African’s found that during this upheaval the only refreshment to be found was Coke products.

After things settled down, Coke donated to local re-building causes.  The locally owned Coke distributors started expanding by “shipping” product via wheel barrel and hand carts.  South African’s took note of this and have truly embraced this company and brand.  Coke is visible everywhere now in South Africa.  This is all due to a vision beyond standard ROI.  It displayed Social Responsibility that has paid off in Goodwill in a big way…and I might venture to say it has paid off in dollars that were hard to account for in ROI.

That story has nothing to do with SharePoint directly.  However, if the thought process can shift so that some SharePoint projects can move forward, allowing the technology to help solve real problems or streamline real activities …then we can see SharePoint grow as a green tool.

For more coherent information on Green technology, check out these news links: Green Technology Report

CNET News: Green Tech: Intel sees Opportunities in wind, electric cars

SharePoint Magazine: Go Green with SharePoint

Business Week: Green Technology Innovators

InfoWorld: Intel invests $10 million in green technology companies

Breakell Inc – Green SharePoint (General contractors building green and using SharePoint for a community website to promote green actions)

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