An international survey of 150 companies conducted by Rackspace Hosting, which also polled South African businesses, established that 55% of respondents are willing to pay a premium to work with a “green” vendor and that 50% are totally committed to environmental initiatives.

While cost savings proved to be the biggest driver of decisions made about environmentally responsible IT, the survey also proved that companies are still concerned about green initiatives and are continuing on the track to sustaining and improving their environmentally friendly policies. Just 2%, however, consider themselves totally green.
“An interesting aspect that emerged from the survey was that many of the IT cost-cutting initiatives pursued by companies have inherently produced green benefits,” says Rackspace spokesperson for the South African market, Geoff Dowell.
A good example of this was the fact that 31 percent of the respondents reported having undertaken consolidation of their data centres and viewed this as an exercise in both cost-cutting and boosting of their green ratings. Only 21% had put their green initiatives on hold due to the economic downturn.
The dedication of some companies to going green was evidenced by 59% of those polled stating that they would be prepared to sacrifice 20% or more of their server performance to achieve lower carbon emissions, and 54% confirmed that cloud computing is an element of their overall environmental strategy.
However, traditional methods of caring for the environment such as recycling and using renewable energy sources are also considered important.
“Over the past two years, there has been an increase of 5% in the number of companies actively addressing power efficiency,” adds Dowell.  “The first steps towards being green have been taken by 49% of those polled, while 22% have taken significant steps, an increase of 5% over last year.”
Answers to a new question asked this year as to whether customers viewed cloud computing as a greener alternative to traditional computing showed that 21% agreed while 19% believed that true benefits of cloud computing have not yet been realised.