Why Green IT? Interview with producer Dick de Laat

Summary: On 14 May, Dick de Laat, Senior Conference Producer at Heliview Conferences & Training, is organizing the new network conference Green IT. Dick explains that a positive business case, the CSRD, scalability, and responsible entrepreneurship are reasons why organizations start implementing a Green IT strategy and its execution. The conference offers insights and tools for organizations to take their first or next steps.

Hello Dick: Can you tell us about yourself and Green IT?

Certainly! In March 2023, I returned to Heliview Conferences & Training. As a father of a 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, and with some years of experience in the energy transition, I retained the desire to continue working in the field of sustainability, even as a conference organizer. Since Heliview has been actively connecting the IT sector for 40 years, it was a logical choice to explore the topic of Green IT further. After various discussions with market stakeholders, I realized that Green IT should be a high priority for larger organizations in the Netherlands.

What do you notice about that?

There are numerous reasons why Green IT will remain indispensable for larger organizations in the Netherlands in the coming years. Making the right strategic choices can yield significant benefits. The current energy climate forces organizations to become critical and innovative. Ideally, everyone would be motivated to operate responsibly and environmentally conscious. A customer at my previous employer put it beautifully: “We want to do business that is grandchild-proof,” he said.

That is indeed beautiful. Are there also financial or other arguments to start with Green IT?

Absolutely! From a financial and entrepreneurial perspective, there are many reasons to start with Green IT. Reducing your energy bill is one of them. Generally, a solid business case can be found in reducing IT energy consumption.

Also noteworthy is the CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), which requires gaining insights and reporting on an organization’s ecological footprint. The insights obtained can then be used to optimize your IT environment and its usage. Therefore, the theme of the conference is ‘From Insight to Impact’.

Lastly, scalability is a reason for some companies to form a sustainable IT plan. Growth of organizations in many places in the Netherlands is limited by network congestion and scarcity on the electricity grid. Reducing your energy consumption results in renewed space for growth.

Why is this conference important for the directors and management of larger organizations in the Netherlands?

Every organization in the Netherlands faces these challenges and/or opportunities. However, it is not easy to gain insights or determine where to start with your organization. By bringing together experts, peers, and market specialists for one day, we provide a platform for companies and organizations to exchange knowledge. With a strong programme, we offer various perspectives and provide concrete tools for everyone to take their first or next steps in making their IT environment and its use more sustainable after 14 May.

Can you tell us about the conference programme?

With pleasure! I am proud to announce that one of the first full-time ‘green IT’ professionals, Leonieke Mevius, Advisor Sustainable IT at the Municipality of Amsterdam, will share her knowledge. Patricia Lago, Professor of Sustainable Software, will explain why and how sustainability should be considered from the design phase. Anne van Esch, Partner at Verdonck Klooster & Associates, will interactively discuss the business case of Green IT with the participants. We will also highlight some technical innovations, including photonics, and insights will be provided from Rabobank regarding greenops. All this under the guidance of the day’s chairperson Karen van der Zanden, chair of the National Coalition for Sustainable Digitalization. Additionally, I expect to welcome several new names to the programme in the coming weeks. Altogether, I anticipate a very valuable and inspiring first edition of our conference!

Thank you. Finally, who is the conference intended for?

We primarily target directors and management of larger organizations in the Netherlands, both from the business world and the government. Anyone focused on making their own internal IT environment and its energy consumption more sustainable is welcome. We look forward to receiving them at the greenest conference location in the Netherlands, KAS in Woerden.

For more information, please visit https://heliview.com/green-it 

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