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Despite recession, green IT spending goes on

green-gridDespite the ongoing recession, most small and large enterprises across Europe plan to maintain or increase spending on green IT, according to a new survey from HP.

Of 2,000 decision-makers and IT users surveyed across seven European markets, 81 per cent said they would either stay the course or increase their green initiatives, the survey found. Driving that trend, apparently, is the believe that sustainable IT policies can also yield cost savings.

A majority of those surveyed also expressed support for green printing practices, with 71 per cent of IT buyers saying they believed green printing is financially accessible and worth investing in.

Even so, IT users are not always as green as they believe, the survey found. While 77 per cent of those buying printers said the ability to print double-sided — a strategy for reducing paper consumption — was an important factor in their decision, only 49 per cent said they regularly take advantage of double-sided printing.

“Over the past 50 years, HP has witnessed profound change in customer attitudes towards environmental responsibility,” said Klaus Hieronymi, director of the Environmental Business Management Organisation for HP Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The fact that 45 per cent of large enterprises and nearly 30 per cent of SMBs now have policies in place to encourage green IT spending supports our belief that businesses are taking greater steps than ever before to reduce their environmental impact. We’re pleased this latest research also confirms that customers are increasingly trying to balance their print needs with environmental concerns.”

The survey also found that:

  • Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) appear to be placing similar emphasis on buying environmentally accredited products as large enterprises.  This may be an indication they favour a self-regulatory approach to a formal IT purchasing policy;
  • For both large enterprises and SMBs, the focus of IT purchasing policy is on recycling of printer cartridges and paper (67 per cent) and energy consumption (64 per cent);
  • Germany, Austria and Switzerland place greater importance on energy efficiency over recycling. This is at odds with all other countries surveyed, where recycling was rated as more important;
  • IT users in both sectors are largely supportive of environmentally sustainable practices, with 70 per cent reporting they practice environmentally sustainable activities at work;
  • Whilst overall greening of IT is seen as a cost saving, green printing is perceived to carry an extra cost.

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