The Power of Denmark
VMware expects 50 percent revenue growth this year, riding on a wave of virtualization.
It works with utilities in California to get rebates for its customers who markedly cut data center power consumption, and expects as many as 20 more to join in North America.
"We estimate something like 6 million servers have been virtualized since we started with VMware," CEO Diane Greene said. "We've saved approximately the ... power that Denmark uses in a year."
Applied Materials sees growth in its business for coating glass with a film that helps insulate large office buildings, reducing both cooling and heating costs.
"When there is a building boom in Dubai or Shanghai or Beijing or Mumbai, glass companies in those areas start to buy our machines," Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter said.
Corporate Green, Personal Green
While corporate customers see an immediate financial benefit to reducing power use, the average consumer may not be ready to relinquish the shiny wrappings of technology.
For example, Virgin Mobile USA tried to deliver cell phones in a recycled paper carton.
"We found that consumers walked away from it because they thought the phone was cheap as a result of the packaging," Virgin Mobile USA CEO Dan Schulman said.
But Fujitsu EVP Chiaki Ito said consumers should find it easier to make simple, green choices.
"For instance, now many people use cell phones as a substitute for a PC to check (e-mail). This reduces the consumption of energy," he said.
Many executives at the summit said they are improving their personal habits when it comes to environmental impact. Some, like VMware's Greene, occasionally ride their bikes to work.
Applied Materials's Splinter says he recently changed all 150 light bulbs at home to the compact fluorescent variety. Nokia CFO Rick Simonson said one of his daughters decided to become a vegan recently.
But Bill Watkins, CEO of Seagate, sees his biggest task as finding a way for his company to properly dispose of the storage drives it builds.
"I get on a private jet and fly to New York, so it's kind of hard for me to talk about separating my cans from plastic," he said.
"They actually wanted me to convert to a full electric car," he said. "I drive a Bentley. This is the car of my life ... I'll be honest, I couldn't do it."