(The New York Times) By James Glanz
This article sets out the findings of a yearlong examination by the New York Times. It highlights the vast amounts of energy which is wasted by data centres.
Click here to read the article.
The Computer and Telecommunications Industry and the Environment
The role of IT in combating climate change is well known, however this is not yet fully reflected in the policy of either governments or companies. Increased use of the new technologies can also lead to substantial financial savings. A solution which saves the planet and improves the balance sheets at the same time, is certainly something governments and companies cannot overlook when developing their policies.
Information and communications technology (ICT) is a critical component in helping the world to meet the energy challenges of the 21st Century. The ICT industry is committed to achieving even greater energy efficiency in our products. Perhaps more importantly, innovation in ICT enables greater energy savings throughout all sectors of the global economy.
The Open Computing Alliance recognizes sound environment policies benefit society as a whole and that IT equipment should play its role in energy conservation for the benefit of the environment. Energy efficiency though industry driven, voluntary initiatives and tech-neutral standards (e.g. the U.S. EPA's Energy Star program and energy saving programs in Europe and elsewhere) and innovative "cradle-to-cradle" eco-design and manufacturing with strong "green software patent" protection and special e-skills training and certifications for wind power and other alternative energy providers, is addressing this. The disposal of unused computer equipment is a key element of a larger issue of general end of life waste disposal faced by all communities.
More importantly, most estimates are that the IT industry is only responsible for about 3 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – making the case for using technology to reduce environmental impact across broader business operations compelling, indeed some analysts have said that the application of ICT may lead to an overall reduction of 15%. A major innovation is large scale next generation utility computing, often described as ‘Cloud Computing’ which appears to be more environmentally friendly compared to traditional data centre operational / deployment models, due to greater asset utilization. Industry consensus indicates that by reducing the number of local hardware components and replacing them with remote cloud computing software/hardware systems reduces energy costs for running hardware and cooling as well, thus reducing both the carbon footprint while higher data centre consolidation / optimization will also save energy, overall reducing costs.
The ICT industries are willing to play a key role a green and economic friendly policy, in cooperation with end users that have realized the benefits of the products they have bought, will do their part to address this issue.
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