Top 10 Green Solution Providers of 2011
“Going green” has, for many companies, gone from being trendy to being crucial. The green movement has evolved within the IT sector into one dedicated to both sustainability and cost savings. CDN looks at 10 Canadian solution providers who have incorporated being green into their products, services and company cultures.
by CDN staff
Founded in 2000, Atum Corp. has embraced the cloud to reduce waste and pushed its data centre provider to become 30 per cent more energy efficient. Atum is also part of Green Enterprise Ontario, a provincial business organization dedicated to balancing high margins with green initiatives within companies.
Photo: John Posan, business development director of Atum Corp.
Winnipeg-based IT consulting firm Broadview Networks recently partnered with GreenBytes, a provider of energy efficient storage solutions, as part of its green program. Broadview is reducing energy consumption within its own data centre through virtualization and also uses paperless invoicing and electronic payments to reduce waste.
In 2010, the financial arm of Compugen launched the Green4Good program with the goal of eradicating waste from the disposal of end-of-life IT assets. Now, the company diverts 90 percent of its IT assets back through the resale channel and recycles the remaining 10 per cent. Profits from the sales are going toward charity, and Compugen is progressing well toward raising its goal of $1 million this year.
Read more: Compugen and HP outline Green4Good program
Jeremy MacBean, director of business development for Brampton-Ont.-based IT Weapons estimates that his company has prevented roughly 42,000 kg of CO2 emissions by hosting virtualized servers in its data centre. For the company, going green is just another way to promote efficiency in data centre operations.
Photo: Jeremy, MacBean, director of business development of IT Weapons
Jolera, based in Toronto, has been incorporating environmentally sound operations into its business model for the past few years. It first consolidated all of its servers into a virtualized cloud environment to reduce cooling needs, then implemented smaller initiatives such as electronic forms. The company also relocated to a more central spot and issued its staff public transit passes.
Photo: Alex Shan, CEO of Jolera Inc. (right)
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Oakville, Ont.’s LaserNetworks has made being green a priority since its founding nearly 25 years ago, according to its president Brian Stevenson. The company uses advanced tracking and reporting software to maximize the life of printers among its customers. LaserNetworks also offers Reflexion toner cartridges that have been found to cut carbon emissions, acidification emissions and global warming emissions by more than half, Stevenson says.
Photo: Brian Stevenson, president of LaserNetworks
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PrintersPlus, based in Ottawa, saw the importance of going green and intensely increased its initiatives between 2009 and today. Alec Milne, the company’s president, is an advocate for toner cartridge reuse and recycling, an area he says needs more education and awareness. The company services many government and education sector customers, and in March 2011 launched a program donating $1 from every public sector transaction to the David Suzuki Foundation. This year, PrintersPlus hopes to increase its recycled returns by at least 10 per cent.
Read more: Samsung Canada signs Ottawa partner
Though Softchoice has been promoting the advantages of going green for several years, it recently moved the discussion from how to reduce the impact of technology to how to leverage it for overall sustainability. The company offers an EcoTech Assessment, a free one-hour assessment and recommendation for how enterprises can become greener. Softchoice also offers green products under its EcoTech solutions model.
Photo: Melissa Alvares, sustainability programs manager at Softchoice
Unis Lumin has streamlined its approach to greening the company, since doing it effectively takes a holistic approach, according to Aaron Brooks, manager of its newly-founded innovation office. Promoting “going green” can only come from an authentic place, he says. So, Unis Lumin is focusing on educating people in the IT industry on the rapidly-changing energy standards, rebates and technologies. It is also assessing its own five offices to measure real-time energy consumption.
Photo: Aaron Brooks, manager of innovation at Unis Lumin
Navantis, an IT services company based in Toronto, created Green Meeting, a communications solution aimed at reducing carbon emissions by employees having to travel less. The tool also captures the cost and carbon savings. Recently, the company launched a cloud version of the solution and integration so customers can automatically update their followers on their meeting via social media sites.
Photo: Mark Hickson, unified communications practice lead at Navantis