IT services specialist Logicalis will today become the latest firm to offer an environmental service, offering IT departments free environmental training and status assessments.
Under the scheme, Logicalis has signed a major alliance with environmental charity Global Action Plan that will see the company pay the organisation to provide independent environmental training and assessment to its customers.
The service will include training workshops on issues such as energy efficiency and recycling as well as an assessment of an IT department's current environmental footprint and an action plan on how to improve.
Logicalis will offer the service free to its key accounts as part of its CIO programme and will also offer it as a negotiating chip with new customers. "If new customers are interested we'll throw the service in as part of a discount," explained Chris Gabriel, head of solutions at Logicalis.
Gabriel said the scheme would cost Logicalis thousands of pounds per customer, but insisted there was a real business benefit in attempting to address the emerging communication gap between IT directors and the rest of the business with regards to environmental issues.
"We've found talking to customers that the environment isn’t really on the radar with IT people, but they are disconnected from the business as for business executives it is fundamental to their marketing and cost cutting strategies," he said. "We saw this disconnect on a specific basis, where we'd be talking to customers about how VMWare saved one of our customers £200k in power costs and the response from the datacentre guy was 'that's good, but I don’t pay the electricity bill'."
Gabriel insisted the Global Action Plan service would be completely independent from Logicalis and not form part of the company’s sales activities. However he hopes that funding education on issues such as CO2 emissions, energy efficiency and recycling means that customers will better understand its sales pitch for energy efficient products and services.
He added that as well as bolstering Logicalis' relationships with customers the programme can also provide a major career boost for those IT directors who undertake the training and attempt to bridge the communication gap with the rest of the business.
"IT is a big facilitator of change in any business," he said. "It is IT that allows people to work from home, IT that can ensure machines are switched off, and IT that can limit corporate travel. IT directors have the opportunity to underpin many firms' green business initiatives."
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