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With vendors falling over themselves to demonstrate their green credentials, it's interesting to consider how much customers really care when they are looking to buy IT products and services.

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According to our recent survey on computing and the environment, the answer is "not that much" at the moment.

Based on responses from about 1,300 readers, the survey reveals that while environmental friendliness of suppliers and offerings is a consideration in about a third of organisations, only about one in 20 say green related selection criteria are weighted highly in the procurement process.

Looking behind these headline stats, the prominence of environmental factors in IT decision making is higher at both ends of the spectrum in terms of organisation size, undoubtedly for two quite different reasons.

Within smaller organisations, indications are that "people power" plays a big role, with factors such as pressure from employees and genuine concern for the environment highlighted as important drivers.

In corporations with more than 50,000 employees, however, drivers of the green agenda are typically more concerned with cost savings, regulatory pressure, and public relations. On this last point, it is notable that whereas almost two thirds of large enterprises have a publicly declared environmental policy, this only applies to about a quarter of organisations with less than 50 employees.

It is not just the state of play at the moment that matters, though – the dynamics are important too. We should, therefore, take note of the fact that about two thirds of respondents said they expect the emphasis on environmental considerations to increase as they look to the future.

An obvious thing to say, and perhaps a little subjective, but whether it's suppliers, politicians, or regulatory bodies pushing, or customers pulling, the "green imperative" seems set to work its way into the world of IT one way or another.

More details of the research discussed above, along with lessons to be learned and insights from a range of industry speakers, will be presented at the up and coming Reg Debate, which you can sign up for here. Every attendee will receive a free copy of the full Green Computing Report too.®

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