'Brands Will Have To Build Differentiated Green Value Over Time'

The global 'green' enterprise IT study released by Strategic Oxygen and Cohn & Wolfe has revealed that Dell is the number one green technology brand, recognised for its extensive recycling programme, the top ranked attribute sought by IT buyers. HP, IBM and Microsoft were noted for their energy efficient products and use of sustainable materials, while Apple held its position in the top five for designing products that are perceived to have a green look and feel.

For this survey, Strategic Oxygen surveyed more than 3,500 enterprise IT decision makers - including CXOs, CIOs, IT Managers and Line of Business Managers - in 11 countries. The study also looked at 26 enterprise technology brands to determine decision makers' perceptions of 'green IT', products and marketing.

GreenFactor released its first study on green IT in July 2008. In the new research, global IT buyers continue to see little differentiation among the various green offerings, yet brand rankings among companies shifted somewhat with Dell at 30 percent moving to number one, replacing HP, which fell to number two at 26 percent. Similar to the July findings, no single enterprise IT brand is a clear 'green' leader globally and there is little statistical difference between the leaders.

Michael Gale, president of Strategic Oxygen, said, "As we watch companies make financial commitments to the environment with innovation and marketing, it is interesting that the differentiation among the various brands is so small. However, given Dell's long-term and consistent commitment to sustainability, I am not surprised to see it at the top. The challenge is going to be building differentiated value over time."

GreenFactor is the first research to document and track what the top green buying attributes are for the B2B tech sector and which companies are perceived by IT buyers as getting it right. The current research findings, when coupled with the July study, have identified two distinctive segments that IT buyers use to judge companies - 'Brand Products' and 'Brand Operations'.

The Brand Product attributes that most clearly impact purchase decision include:

- 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 programmes for old hardware
- Produces energy efficient products
- Promotes a green image of itself

Brand Operations attributes include having green facilities (manufacturing and/or data centres), using green shipping methods (eg non-wasteful packaging, efficient transportation), or leading in developing new green technologies.

IT buyers currently rank 'Brand Product' higher than 'Brand Operations' when making purchase decisions, but an IT vendor's ability to effectively demonstrate environmental stewardship in both areas gives him a distinct advantage.

Laptops and servers are the top products IT buyers indicate they will purchase within the next twelve months, according to the survey, and green attributes figure prominently in buyer requirements.

"The technology brands that make the authentic connection between the environmental soundness of their products and their sustainable business operations and policies, will be long-term winners," says Claudia Carasso, managing director of the global technology practice at Cohn & Wolfe. "We also know that CIOs, who are committed to green strategies depend more on blogs and forums than their non-green counterparts for gathering information on technology solutions. This is an important finding for product and service providers, who are looking for current and credible ways to reach the coveted C-suite buyer."

For the purposes of the study, 'green technology' was defined as having efficient power consumption, recyclable/ reusable packaging, recycling offers for older equipment, use of non-toxic materials, or making investments in future ‘green’ concepts such as alternative materials.

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Updated Date: Jan 31, 2017 02:13:57 IST