As the demand for sustainability increases, industries have been put in the spotlight to ensure that environmental sustainability is a non-negotiable aspect of their business practices. Although the IT industry has left a carbon footprint itself, it has also provided solutions to decrease carbon footprint.
Research by Huawei (sourced from a GeSI report) found that:
- By 2030, the ICT industry is estimated to produce 1.97% of global carbon emissions.
- By 2030, ICT technologies have the potential to reduce global CO2 emissions by 20% – 10x the carbon emissions of the ICT industry.
- 2% of carbon emissions is from the network equipment production, and 80-95% is from the in-use phase: large electricity usage results in tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, which raises glasshouse gas emissions.
So why does IT sustainability matter?
Computing power and data storage has been increasingly becoming more in demand, posing an environmental threat. Although a single company can’t solve today’s climate issues, if all companies work together and adopt a shared CSR, the impact will be more significant. Going greener doesn’t only help the environment but also provides a positive image to customers and reduces business expenses.
How can IT be green?
- Relocate servers – e.g. Maximise data centre space to minimise cooling and energy costs, relocate to colder climates.
- Follow data centre best practices – e.g. Harness outside air cooling, cool to the minimum necessary, unplug and remove zombie servers.
- Migrate to the cloud – Virtualisation helps to use less amounts of computing resources while doing the same amount of work usual servers do. Minimises the need to purchase too many gadgets thus reducing power consumption
- Holding Energy Star rating of high importance – Promoting and purchasing computers that are rated good for energy efficiency.
- Going paperless – Eliminating the use of paper for activities which can be done digitally.
- E-recycling – Reducing waste by ensuring that materials that can be reused are recycled.
- Individuals going green – e.g. Setting computers to sleep, upgrading to smart power strips, sharing printers, working remotely.
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Qubit Labs – IT Sustainability: Importance, Impact, and Implementation (qubit-labs.com)
Capgemini – Brochure Potrait (capgemini.com)
Kidd, C. (BMC Blogs) – Sustainable IT: Ways IT Can Be More Green and Why It Matters – BMC Software | Blogs
Baburajan, R. (Telecomlead) – MWC 2022: ICT is not a contributor to carbon footprint, but an enabler of carbon handprints, says Huawei (telecomlead.com)