- POSTED: 27 Dec 2013 00:22
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Going green is sometimes perceived as an expensive effort by companies, with huge investments and high costs often cited as barriers that keep small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from taking on sustainability efforts.
SINGAPORE: Going green is sometimes perceived as an expensive effort by companies, with huge investments and high costs often cited as barriers that keep small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from taking on sustainability efforts.
However one local SME, Opus IT, has gone out of its way to show that 'going green’ does not mean ‘going red’ in the account books.
The Singapore-based IT company aims to lead by example -- showing that green practices are not just sustainable and cost effective, but could also boost its bottom line.
Opus IT also wants to help dispel the notion that major investments are needed for companies to go green. Instead, all that is needed is to optimise a company's existing resources.
Vincent Poon, vice president of Opus IT, said: "When you talk about green initiatives, it is always about how you optimise your so-called infrastructure.
"For example, in order to optimise (the infrastructure), it depends on each company in terms of their requirements, in terms of the number of users -- these will determine the type of set-up that will be proposed to them.
“So we go in to understand what they need, what they have, and we design something that caters to their requirements."
While IT companies may be associated with new technology and developments, Opus made the most of their existing setup by consolidating its IT workloads and turning to the virtual space to carry out part of its operations.
By consolidating all of its servers, it has drastically reduced electricity costs used to power the servers as well as to cool the heated system. This has also led to reduced real estate and a lower carbon footprint through reduced power consumption.
In addition, the company has also turned to the use of video conferencing and telecommuting for its employees, which it said helped reduce labour costs, boost productivity and even reduce carbon emissions from the lesser travel by its employees.
To 'brighten' the day, Opus went into the energy-efficient LED lighting business and even makes use of LED lighting in its office space. While neither of these maybe 'eureka' innovations, the results of energy savings have been significant.
"We are estimating two years of savings around 80,000 kilowatts of power. That is a pretty significant amount, especially coming from the air conditioner," said Mr Poon.
Through its remote IT troubleshooting scheme, Opus has found a way to synergise its pro-bono efforts of helping other SMEs adopt green initiatives while keeping its business objectives on track.
"It benefits companies like SMEs, which actually don't have their own in-house IT support. So they engage Opus to provide them with a service and to help them with their IT issue. This is a win-win for both. It helps customers to lower their IT costs while giving us more business," said Dave Chan, manager of enterprise integration at Opus.
While SMEs can turn to several government agencies for help, there is nothing better than a helping hand from one of their own.