An increasing amount of businesses are starting to pursue green initiatives, especially in their IT departments, with strategies such as cloud computing and data center consolidation in particular seeing a good amount of attention, according to a recent survey from RackSpace.

The survey found that 49 percent of companies have taken the first steps toward being green, 9 percent have taken significant steps, and 17 percent are completely green - up from 15 percent last year.

In addition, just 21 percent of companies have put green initiatives on hold due to the recession - instead, the number of respondents who said that they would pay more to work with a green vendor, even if it costs 50 percent more than market price, actually increased by 2 percent since last year to reach 55 percent.

As for cloud computing, 21 percent of companies believe that it is a "much greener alternative," while 19 percent said the full benefits of the technology have not yet been realized.

Data center consolidation, which can help with reducing IT costs and carbon footprints, is being used by 31 percent of customers.

These initiatives are not just good for the environment, but are good for the company's financial health as well - an IBM executive recently reported that, for every dollar saved on energy consumption, companies will typically see an additional $4 to $5 in savings on other costs.

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