Tough economic times seem to have quelled the worst excesses of IT vendor Greenwash, where every new product and upgrade was claimed to be saving the planet, much to most IT professionals’ relief.

Nevertheless, being green is a big deal. Or at least nobody wants to be caught out, and publicly embarrassed by seeming to endorse business practice which damages the environment.

And budget holding IT professionals are still on the receiving end of marketing material which promotes the green credentials of hardware, software and services they buy. So, how do you make sense of it all? To what extent can the vendor claims be verified? And is ‘Going Green’ really the most important thing you can do for your business?

While many businesses are keen to be green, few see it as a differentiating factor. Look at it this way: Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose all make claims about their lessening impact on the environment, but when did that affect your decision where to shop?

So cross examining every supplier on its environmental claims may not be the best use of your time. Instead, IT teams should look at the big picture.

What exactly is your business asking from you in the area of sustainability, and how will that be measured?

When it comes to reducing the carbon emissions of your department, organisational and process efficiency can be as important as the products and services you buy. What is the optimal structure of a support team, so that it makes fewer trips to satellite offices? Can more support be done remotely? Can you squeeze more from your virtual server set up? Are more of your staff able to work from home?

These are questions you may have already asked for pure business reasons. The important point is to ensure the environmental benefits resulting from these overall efficiency gains can be measured in some way which the business will recognise.

Then the quest to go green will not become a distraction to your day job. It could even make you better at it.