Green has traditionally been considered the colour of hope and yet today we could say it is the colour of resolution: the world’s resolution to help the environment.

Over the past year we have all witnessed the debate around carbon emissions and how we can reduce our footprint. Measures can be taken as individuals, as households and as entire organisations.

Climate change affects everybody and it has been shown that emissions of greenhouse gases by people and industry is affecting the world's climate. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced when we use appliances that feature heating and/or cooling systems, electricity, cars and planes.

Fortunately, making a difference is not difficult and it can actually help save money as well as the planet. Several programmes are in place around the world to help us offset our carbon footprint; in the UK, for example, it is possible to calculate one’s level of emissions.

In 2006, the average datacentre required nearly one hundred barrels of oil per day to run. Today organisations can better their bottom line and reduce environmental impact by leveraging improved technologies available to datacentres around the world.

In its mission to help customers reduce datacentre costs and to become "greener" by also reducing energy consumption, 3PAR has created these top tips for a greener datacentre. Implementing just a few of the suggestions below could help businesses reduce operational costs by 50% or more with advanced “energy saving” technologies and creative environmental programs, helping their bottom lines and the environment, a decidedly win-win situation.

1. Transition to a true utility computing environment, built on server and storage virtualisation, to dramatically improve resource utilisation and reduce overall datacentre costs and related energy consumption substantially. Simplified datacentre management will be a related benefit.

2. Cut storage power and cooling needs dramatically by reducing disk drive capacity requirements with Thin Provisioning technology.

3. Reduce the amount of capacity required to meet data protection and disaster recovery needs with Thin Copy and Thin Replication technology.

4. Reduce energy consumption and power bills further by installing energy-efficient servers.

5. Reduce power and space consumption with virtualised server consolidation technologies like VMWare.

6. Select vendors that utilise thermal enhancement features in their machinery such as DC-powered servers that can increase efficiency and reliability while reducing power consumption.

7. Invite your local power utility to do a datacentre assessment to provide you with recommendations about how you might reduce energy consumption or replace aging equipment with more energy efficient gear. Take advantage of any subsidy programs available for equipment refresh.

8. Cut down on long-distance travel costs and the related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and invest the savings in video conferencing equipment or web-based conferencing services.

9. Adopt low-emission company cars and offer employee incentives for mass transit, carpooling, walking and cycling to work.

10. Purchase ‘carbon credits’ through organisations like Terrapass to offset the emissions you will continue to generate.

Craig Nunes is the vice president of marketing at 3PAR.