It's not uncommon for hardware vendors to tout reduced power consumption and lead-free manufacturing as two of the benefits associated with using their products; or similarly, for software vendors to promote their products' support of virtualisation and clustering as a mechanism to reduce power consumption.

Unfortunately, says Marius Vermeulen, Cisco technical specialist at Tarsus Technologies, this is where most efforts of this kind end.
"Few vendors have looked beyond the design, manufacture and everyday usage of their products and begun seeking out additional green-friendly options," he says.
Ironically, Vermeulen says, there are a handful of very simple things that vendors can do to substantially lessen their impact on the environment."
One example of this is the saving in paper and packaging material that Cisco has managed to effect through the availability of its 'Green' accessory kits with its 2800 Series of Integrated Services Routers.
Vermeulen says Cisco is making a positive impact with this new breed of accessory kit, by simply excluding items that their large customers generally dispose of when buying a large consignment of stock.
"The items removed include the console cable, Ethernet cable, auxiliary cable/adapter, Quick-Start documentation, and cable guides," he says, "By excluding these items, Cisco estimates that it saves 330 grams of material per 2800 Series router package, a measure that has the potential to reduce landfills by 100 tons annually."
"Additionally, the use of these greener accessory kits leads to a reduction in the raw materials consumed in the manufacturing process and energy savings due to lower shipping weights," he adds.
Since the standard accessory kit is still the default option, Vermeulen says that customers must specifically elect to receive the 'Green' kit instead.
If they do however require some of the items that were removed from the kit, they can be easily downloaded or purchased from Cisco's website.
"When they realise the positive impact they can have on the environment by choosing this greener option, it generally becomes an easy decision," he adds.
"We believe this venture will be as successful in South Africa as it has been abroad and look forward to it spurring Cisco's competitors on to do something similar.
"As one of the biggest contributors to landfills, power consumption and wastage of resource the world over, the IT industry owes it to itself to do more," he concludes.