IT decision-makers around the world ranked recycling as the most important attribute they seek when buying technology and chose Dell as their leading brand because of its extensive recycling program, according to the most recent GreenFactor study.
The survey by Strategic Oxygen and Cohn & Wolfe of more than 3,500 CIOs, chief officers, IT managers, line of business managers and other top IT enterprise decision-makers also recognized HP, IBM and Microsoft for having energy efficient products and using eco-friendly materials.
The respondents included Apple among the top five brands for designing products that are "perceived to have a green look and feel," Strategic Oxygen and Cohn & Wolfe said in releasing the latest GreenFactor study.
The first study on green IT was issued in July 2008. According to the latest research, buyers see little differentiation among various products presented as a green offerings -- a finding that is not new.
Brand rankings, however, changed in the recent study: Dell moved to the No. 1 spot with 30 percent, HP slipped to second place with 26 percent. Researchers said no one brand clearly emerged as the green leader on global basis as there was little statistical difference among the top brands -- findings that mirrored the July study.
The GreenFactor studies have found that IT buyers judge companies according to attributes that researchers say can be divided into two categories: brand products and brand operations.
Brand product attributes that come into play when considering a company include whether a firm:
• Produces hardware that is made from biodegradable/recyclable materials
• Designs products or packaging that appears to be green because the
design looks clean
• Offers recycling programs for old hardware
• Produces energy efficient products
• Promotes a green image of themselves
A company's brand operations attributes include having green manufacturing, data center or other facilities; using green packaging, efficient transportation and other environmentally responsible practices in shipping; and leading development of green technologies.
According to the research, decision-makers consider brand product more strongly than brand operations when contemplating purchases. However, a company that effectively demonstrates solid environmental stewardship in both areas has an advantage.
IT buyers also told researchers that laptops and servers top the list of products they expect to be purchasing in the next 12 months, and that they'll be looking at the environmentally friendly attributes of the products and their manufacturers in making their purchases.
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