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.

The nation's largest banks have already embraced "green" with major initiatives and financial commitments - Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley led the way in signing the Carbon Principles last year; Morgan, TD Bank Group, HSBC and ING have pledged to become - or already are - carbon neutral, and Bank of America is building a Platinum LEED certified tower in New York, one of the first skyscrapers in the world to earn that designation. Community banks across the country are also embracing the mandate, with institutions like Alpine Banks in Colorado and First Green Bank in Florida making local contributions to solving a global problem.

And though the desire to implement cost-saving and environmentally conscious IT strategies is now mainstream, it's time to turn attitudes into action. Action requires knowledge, and we know you are eager to learn from what your peers are doing in this area, and to hear about new technologies that not only contribute to sustainability ideals but also help identify new business opportunities.

To provide insight into the innovation, cost savings and hard benefits behind the green, BTN is proud to introduce "Going Green" a new monthly section that will include case studies, information on new products and strategies to help our readers understand the countless ways that technology plays a critical role in meeting energy, environmental and sustainability goals. I also want to hear your stories; send any thoughts, ideas, or success stories on your green initiatives to me at: Rebecca.sausner@sourcemedia.com

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