Green IT is more than this year's "two-factor," "in-the-cloud," or "as-a-service" - not just another IT buzzword or trend that grabs attention for awhile then fades just in time for the next big thing. From President Obama on down there's renewed national momentum to use less energy and be mindful of our impact on the environment. Within banks, eco-friendly products, services and sustainable information technology initiatives can be found across the enterprise, from paperless statements to energy savings reaped when virtualization decreases the data center's footprint, and the embrace of green building standards.

And in this economy there's more at stake, and more to be gained, than just compliance with corporate social responsibility mandates. Green IT projects add to an institution's brand equity and subtract from short and long-term budget bloat. That religion now pervades banks: 88 percent of financial services executives told IBT Enterprises that green initiatives are important to their financial institution; 70 percent say they're into it because it's the right thing to do and 68 percent are converts because of lower operational costs.

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