All aboard the greenwash express

23 October 2008

A note from Graham Titterington at Ovum explains why IT vendors are having a hard time presenting a greener image. He attended a vendor's shindig only to find that, when it came to their carbon footprint, some were forced to wear supersized clown shoes:

"One of the delegates, who had travelled from Düsseldorf to Amsterdam, had been told that he had to fly there as it was not company policy to reimburse train fares – despite the fact that in this case there is no direct air service and flying was both considerably more expensive and slower! As this journey involved two relatively short flights, the fuel consumption per passenger was probably about ten times that of the rail option."

As Titterington concludes: "Every company is trying to maximise the revenue potential of jumping on the green bandwagon...However, a bit of joined-up thinking would help to keep the cynicism in check."

Mind you, it's easy talk. Even Franz Kafka couldn't have imagined the arcane stupidity that permeates many corporate travel policies. It's as though HR and finance have regular meetings to work out how far they can push it:

"I know, we'll only pay out if they have video evidence showing they hopped unicycled least one mile for every hundred travelled."

"But it's got to be a pool unicycle. They can't bring their own."

"Yeah, that'll get 'em."