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#15 Newsmaker: Melissa Alvares of Softchoice

Alvares is the sustainability programs manager at Softchoice

Softchoice‘s Melissa Alvares is a newsmaker this year because of her continued green efforts with the company, which ranked as CDN‘s number one Top 100 Solution Provider for 2009.

Two years ago, Softchoice launched Eco Tech Solutions, an educational resource and tool that promotes the adoption of environmentally responsible technologies and best practices. As part of this, the company also has its free Green IT Assessment tool that businesses can use to help assess their current green state.

Continuing with its green initiatives, the company launched a fully searchable green IT products listing on its Web site last year so businesses can search and compare environmentally friendly products such as laptops and printers.

This year, Alvares said Softchoice has really ramped up its activity in the green space.

“It’s about being really transparent and helping other organizations start their own green initiatives,” Alvares said.

New green initiatives this year include electronic invoicing, consolidated shipping to reduce carbon footprint and a project which is still in the works to enable digital signatures, she said.

“The main thing is to be very practical in where you start and start with small practices,” Alvares said. “For any green IT strategy to survive, it’s got to make sense to your company. Don’t become the green police to make people feel bad. Instead, make things simple, fun and engaging for everyone.”