The Global View

Big Blue tries big green consulting push

The odd thing about IBM is that whenever it does something about green tech, it’s technically impossible to write anything about it without mentioning the words ‘big green’, thanks to its Big Blue nickname.

See? Greenbang just did it then and she didn’t even mean to. She was thinking about not mentioning the words ‘big green’, and yet she still went ahead and mentioned them. Damn you, IBM, and your punnable soubriquet.

Today’s reason to mention the words big green comes in the form of its decision to open up a green consulting arm under the banner Green Sigma, to help companies go all green.

And just how might they do that, I hear you ask? By applying Lean Six Sigma principles to energy and water usage throughout the company. (In case you were thinking ‘what the devil is a lean six sigma? Some kind of cabal hellbent on bringing down James Bond?’ Greenbang emphathises. It’s a type of business methodology, and there’s all the info you need about it here.)

IBM says this Green Sigma consulting can do all this stuff:

  • Manage and reduce carbon output and water inefficiencies;
  • Reduce energy and water usage, and associated costs;
  • Use advanced analytical techniques to establish ongoing carbon footprint and water management practices;
  • Increase profit through activities such as carbon trading.

And it’s not just about sorting out all your techie goodies, oh no. IBM reckon they can sort out transportation systems, datacentres and IT systems, manufacturing and distribution centres, office facilities, retail space, research and development sites, and possibly even your kitchen sink.

How? Here’s how:

  • Establish key performance indicators defined and tailored to the client’s operational environment, industry and business. Activities include building key process indicator sets for carbon and water, including regulatory and stakeholder requirements;
  • Identify areas where activities and practices should be measured. This can include developing a facilities management plan and determining where to use sensors to collect information for analysis;
  • Use a Carbon and Water Management Dashboard system to monitor key performance indicators and analyse performance data. This can be linked to other systems to help initiate processes such as carbon trading;
  • Apply Green Sigma statistical tools and techniques to analyze and improve processes to reduce energy usage, carbon emissions and water inefficiencies;
  • Create ongoing optimization of processes and key performance indicators through the Carbon and Water Management Dashboard, and identifying new areas where improvements can be made.