Ontario pushes green IT Technology and the right attitude will help Ontario meet its green targets, associate deputy minister to the premier on climate change, Hugh MacLeod, told a Green Technologies town hall meeting hosted by the Officer of the Corporate Chief Technology Officer. Part of the province's Go Green plan is to work with Climate Check of Ottawa and Bell Canada Enterprises to quantify environmental key performance indicators (KPIs) within the Ontario Public Service (OPS). Also on the agenda is establishing green standards for the Canadian IT industry.   IBM to cut power requirements IBM burns 5 billion kilowatt hours on its data centre operations annually. In an ambitious plan, over the next three years the company plans to double its compute capability without boosting power consumption. This is estimated to be a $1-billion job. How to do it? Focus on the three core areas of software, hardware, and services. For software, keep updating power management programs for reduced power consumption, improve hardware configuration, and trim code to put less demand on CPUs. With hardware, it's all about more efficient chips, including new water cooling technology. And with services, the focus is on server consolidation on the client side.   CIOs driving green agenda: Cisco According to Cisco Systems, it is chief information officers (CIOs) who are putting green front and centre in their organizations. The findings are partly anecdotal - Cisco is hearing it from customers - but are also supported by a poll of 200 IT decision makers in which 61% said sustainability is a key issue for them, and 44% said it is a board-level issue in their organization.   Poll exposes office practices According to a recent poll by Leger Marketing, Canadians are using more paper than ever before. The survey results, released at the "You, Me and Green" conference on Green IT, exposed some dismal office behaviour. On average, a Canadian worker prints 30 pages daily, and throws away 12 of these. As well, 40% of Canadians say they are actually printing more documents than they were five years ago. Concern was high, but so was a sense of futility, with many not knowing how to approach the problem.   Digital signatures to the rescue Digital signature and electronic agreement technology can be a cost effective and environmentally responsible way to simplify and safeguard every-day business processes. Telus Secure Contracts, in partnership with Recombo Inc.'s WAYPOINT electronic agreement and digital signature software, is pushing hard in this market. Telus claims studies have shown that 49% of Canadians would use digitally secured documentation in order to reduce paper wastage, and that 42% are doing as much as they can electronically in order to limit their impact on the environment.   Industry and US government moveforward on green IT initiatives The Green Grid, a global consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centres and business computing ecosystems, announced memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). The Green Grid's agreement with the EPA will first promote energy efficiency in EPA computer facilities, and then broadly share results in order to impact change within both other governmental agencies and the private sector. The alliance with SNIA is designed to further networked storage best practices for energy efficiency.   Extreme Networks seeing green At Interop in Las Vegas Extreme Networks Inc. announced its new Summit X650, a 24-port 10-Gigabit stackable switch. According to Extreme officials, the product has dynamic power management and matches server equipment cooling in a data centre by supporting front-to-back cooling. The Summit X650 is intended to be in beta this summer and market-ready before year end.   Research claims environmental awareness on the rise A Forrester Research survey found 25 million Americans - about 12% of adults - will pay more for consumer electronics that either use less energy or come from an environmentally friendly company. As well, market research conducted by iSuppli Corporation suggested that mobile handset recycling was on the rise.   Cisco expands telepresence island Cisco Systems' telepresence product line has expanded to include a personal system for use in individual offices (Cisco TelePresence System 500), and a large Cisco telepresence room for group training and cross-functional team meetings (Cisco TelePresence System 3200). These join the existing Cisco TelePresence System 1000 and 3000 endpoints. Telepresence is being promoted as a "green" technology that reduces travel, but Cisco appears to be keeping its narrow focus on intra-enterprise communication. Although this announcement increases the Cisco telepresence footprint, it still leaves the thornier matter of interoperability on the back burner - an issue that Hewlett-Packard, Tandberg, and Polycom Inc. seem to take more seriously. As well, pricing is steep: the Cisco TelePresence System 500 has a list price of $33,900 USD, and the Cisco TelePresence 3200 is listed at $340,000 USD.