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Going green can get your agency out of the red

October 20, 2009
at 4:28 pm PST

Scientific reports of melting polar icecaps and global climate change have led to people all over the world seeing green. With carbon offsets being purchased to counteract the environmental impact of everything from corporate travel to the Super Bowl, green has clearly become the new black, affecting every business and individual around the world.

In a world that’s suddenly gone green, the government has been slow to embrace green initiatives. In fact, a recent study done by the 1105 Government Information Group found that green technology initiatives are one of the lowest priorities for government.

The study, which was conducted by surveying 1105’s extensive readership of government influencers, asked respondents to rank 18 technology initiatives in order of priority and importance to their organization. The findings were startling in today’s green-obsessed society, with green being ranked a lowly 16th out of 18.

At TANDBERG, we believe that green initiatives shouldn’t be the rented mule of government priorities when it comes to technology spending. With the ongoing recession, one of the major challenges facing our government is unbalanced budgets and a need to cut spending. Green initiatives may help save the planet, but they are also one of the best ways to save money over time.

Take video teleconferencing (VTC) for example. VTC solutions enable people to communicate face-to-face as if they were in the same room regardless of how far apart they are. This allows agencies to significantly reduce their carbon footprint by making emissions-spewing car and plane travel less necessary, and also saves money in plane fare, hotel costs, per diem and productivity loss while employees are out of pocket.

What’s even more interesting about VTC is that it not only makes organizations greener and more efficient, but also addresses some of the initiatives that were the highest priority to the government based on the study’s findings. These include:

  • Increase operational efficiency/productivity – VTC and telework reduce commutes, cut travel time and effectively make employees more productive … and happier.
  • Information sharing – VTC enables face-to-face communication and the ability to share desktop images, ensuring that information travels quickly and effectively.
  • Continuity of operations – In the event of disaster or epidemic, VTC equipped employees are capable of completing mission-critical tasks from the safety of their own homes.
  • Increase collaboration with other agencies – Fast and effective communication regardless of physical location means that agencies can collaborate regardless of where they are located.

With green initiatives and a desire to save the planet at the forefront of today’s most important societal issues, it’s imperative that the government reprioritize its technology spending and lead the way by embracing technologies like VTC, which can make government more efficient. With the money-saving power of green technology and the current economic downturn, can government really afford not to?

For more information on how your agency can go green, and a calculator that enables you to figure out your agency’s true carbon footprint from TANDBERG, visit http://www.seegreennow.com.

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