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Green - IT & Sodexo

by guest blogger, Christopher P Riccio, Director, Planning & Architecture, IS&T

By now you have read Holly Fowler’s post
“In the Market for a Green Collar Job” and you’re thinking: “I’m a computer geek; the only green that I like is that on my Motherboard! And anyway, whoever heard of an IT Admin whose job was to think daily about how they can reduce their company’s impact on the environment. Hogwash!!”

Well my friends, at Sodexo, that is exactly what we are asking our Information Technology team to do every day, and we’re just getting started.

Why? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Environmental sustainability is everyone’s business, not just Sodexo’s

  2. Reducing IT impact on the environment often goes hand-in-hand with fiscal responsibility

  3. The technology to pull this off is really cool!

So how are we doing this and what has it meant to Sodexo over the years?

Sodexo’s North America datacenter is located in Williamsville, NY (a suburb of Buffalo), which has an average monthly high temperature of 57F, making it an ideal candidate to implement HVAC units which draw on the cold outside air to cool our IT infrastructure, reducing our power consumption needs.

Server Virtualization
One of the key initiatives that Sodexo adopted three years ago was virtualizing our server infrastructure.

What is server virtualization? Well, think of the PC that you are using to read this article on. It has its own hardware, operating system, applications etc... Now think of Tom’s PC and Jane’s Laptop, each having their own hardware and software footprint. Wouldn’t it be great if we could consolidate all of that equipment into one piece of hardware while still allowing everybody to do their job in their own little world? Well in a nutshell that’s virtualization.

Why is this good for Sodexo? 3 –reasons:

  1. It’s better for the environment, fewer servers mean less:
    a) Packaging to throw out
    b) Less cables (power, networking)
    c) Lower electrical consumption

  2. We can deliver to the business quicker
    We can deploy new solutions to the business in hours instead of days

  3. It reduces spending
    We saw a 15 to 1 reduction in our server infrastructure purchases

And now with the advent of Sodexo’s Green-IT initiative, we are openly looking at technologies and processes that will promote environmental sustainability within the organization.

Not too shabby.


Christopher P Riccio, Director, Planning & Architecture, IS&T

Chris joined Sodexo as a Networking Analyst in 2002 and is now the Director of Planning and Architecture for IS & T North America. In this role, Chris is responsible for the design, development and implementation of architectural approaches and solutions to information technology needs.

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Sherry said...

Very interesting Chris. And very do-able for many to follow Sodexo's lead. I hope they do - sooner than later.

Being from Buffalo, it also makes me proud that this visionary thinking is happening here. I'd love us to be known as the green, creative thinkers.

Keep it up!

fbordage said...

Very interesting. I'm the editor of which is federating the french Green IT community (approx. 16.000+ professionals). Let us know when you will implement your first Green IT project.