Photo: Electronic waste is a global issues communities can't continue to ignore as discarded electronics swamp the developing world.

Green is the new green. Green is good. Amid these tough economic times, individuals and organizations across America are finding ways to be good to the environment while being good to the wallet. But information technology, a powerful engine of the U.S. economy, is expected to grow and continue to produce as much green house gas as the airline industry-even when fewer people are traveling. "We're expecting the information communications technology sector will increase its emissions by 150 percent-that's business as usual if we don't do anything," Shell Culp, CIO California Department of Toxic Substances, told state technology workers during a session on sustainability at the Best of California 2008 program last Wednesday.

"If we increase our activity in technology, we're actually putting more planes in the air, essentially, from a global CO2 emissions standpoint," And that doesn't include the energy used in manufacturing the technology. "So we're not as green as we would like to think we are.

"Our biggest benefit is going to be helping other parts of our economy reduce their environmental footprint. So we do have a very large role to play enabling efficiencies in other sectors."

A recent Forrester survey found that 40 percent of businesses believe protecting the environment is very important, while 50 percent of respondents incorporate environmentally-friendly criteria into their purchasing requirements. According to the same survey, 80 percent recycle information technology products at the end of their life.

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