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Keynote speaker Warren Wilson, senior analyst at Ovum, a technology research and analysis company, opened this month’s Green IT Expo 2009 saying: “At the moment, this idea is underappreciated but we are starting to see more and more companies interested in making green investments, due to the increasing connection between green and cost efficiency.”

He noted that in previous years businesses had been put off investing in green technology as it was not associated with profit.

But with companies now seeing energy and cost savings as a result of investing in sustainable technology, outlooks are changing.

And, he urged businesses to make the changes wholesale. “Changing the functions of data centres only accounts for a small percentage of energy use and carbon emissions”, he said.

“If we are to see a real impact, we need to look at how IT can reduce energy and carbon use throughout the entire business operation, particularly in manufacturing, building and vehicle use where green software can have the greatest effect.”

The two-day Green IT Expo 2009 at London’s Barbican Exhibition Centre, last Tuesday and Wednesday (November 10/11) was the UK’s first free event focussing on the benefits of sustainable computing.

Darren Strange, chief sustainability officer at Microsoft, also examined how technology can cut business costs and boost green goals.

He said: “At Microsoft, we believe that true sustainability is not a quick fix, it’s a broad set of initiatives which have to be achieved in order to meet a business’ environmental goal.

“Technology can help drive real change. UK business is on a journey to improve its environmental credentials and it’s great to see this becoming increasingly front of mind.”

Savings of £6.4bn a year in improved resource efficiency could be made by UK businesses, it is estimated.

Trevor Hutchings, head of low carbon economy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said: “There are huge business opportunities in the development of low carbon and environmental goods and services, where globally this market is estimated to be worth around £4.3 trillion by the middle of the next decade.

“We want to make sure the UK seizes this huge opportunity.”

For more details about the event see the website www.greenitexpo.com

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