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AT&T, Cisco Appointed to Green Shell’s IT

Shell has selected AT&T and Cisco to assess the energy efficiency of the oil and gas giant’s IT infrastructure.

The telecoms and networking companies will calculate the CO2 output of Shell’s IT operations and map energy use patterns.

AT&T said the program will examine aspects of Shell’s IT ranging from data centers to real estate. “It forms an integral part of our drive to improve performance, cut costs, and reduce CO2 emissions,” Shell’s chief information officer, Alan Matula, said of the initiative.

The appointed companies will look to consolidate servers, data storage and branch offices, and to substitute physical assets with virtual ones.

A report out today from Pike Research found that the adoption of cloud computing will lead to a 38% reduction in worldwide data center energy expenditures by 2020, compared to a “business as usual” scenario. Another report by Microsoft, Accenture and WSP Environment & Energy found that large organizations moving business applications to the cloud can cut energy consumption and carbon emissions by 30 percent or more.

The Shell program will also address greenhouse gas emissions from travel, using Cisco’s Telepresence conferencing systems. Cisco has installed more than 800 of the units in its own offices, and the company reports that its Scope 3 GHG emissions from air travel were 45 percent lower than the 2007 baseline.

Cisco will use its EnergyWise service to measure Shell’s power consumption in real time. Other issues to be addressed are underused systems and redundant equipment.

“This project will enable us to develop a single global system which touches every part of the organization and will enable the monitoring and control of energy at a device level, right down to individual servers and computers,” said Greg Wieboldt, senior vice president of the global client group at AT&T Business Solutions.

Dow Jones Indexes and investment boutique SAM recently dropped Shell from their annual list of the world’s most sustainable organizations.

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