The top Green-IT organizations: Hard-wired to be green

Computerworld's top 12 green-IT organizations were chosen from a group of 70 applicants, each striving to find new ways to reduce energy consumption in their IT equipment and use technology to lower energy use elsewhere in their operations.

In fact, these organizations have woven energy-saving initiatives into the very fabric of their IT strategies. They are tapping the collective brainpower of their IT staffs to capitalize on existing technologies such as virtualization, telepresence and solar arrays while seeking out new methods to better control their carbon footprints.

NBC Universal CIO Christopher Furst may have said it best: "It's hard work. There's no silver bullet. It's something you have to work on every day."

And every day, these organizations are finding new ways of reaching their goals. At Kaiser Permanente, the IT team came up with its own method of measuring cooling system efficiency. Many of the company's power-saving initiatives come from "Keep IT Green" teams, groups of IT staffers that meet monthly to generate new ideas. Allstate Insurance uses a business-case approach -- if it's a smart idea that can save money, the IT team will give it a shot.

Big Four accounting firm KPMG is trying many things -- migrating to blade servers, raising the temperatures in the data center, using telepresence technology for meetings in an effort to reduce employee travel, and even installing solar panels on some buildings. Longtime green innovator State Street is pushing to further reduce energy consumption. Madge Meyer, the financial services firm's executive vice president, chief innovation officer and technology fellow, says the task is never done.

It's that sort of determination that defines this year's honorees. Read these stories to get tips from the top 12 on how to conserve energy, save money and improve IT energy efficiencies.

We've also prepared a separate list that showcases the top 12 IT vendors and data center suppliers.

2011 Top Green-IT Users

1. Kaiser Permanente

2. KPMG

3. State Street

4. Allstate Insurance

5. NBC Universal

6. Baker Hughes

7. Northrop Grumman

8. Citigroup

9. Nixon Peabody

10. Raytheon

11. Prudential Financial

12. JM Family Enterprises

2011 Top Green-IT Vendors

1. Fujitsu

2. Hewlett-Packard

3. Accenture

4. Microsoft

5. Qualcomm

6. IBM

7. Intel

8. BT Group

9. SAP

10. Internap Network Services

11. Dell

12. Avnet

Next: No. 1: Kaiser Permanente slashes data center power by 7.2 million kilowatt-hours

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