Go green or get fined, warns Gartner

Gartner conference: The impace of environmental regulations and the need to squeeze more from corporate information were key themes at last week's ITxpo

IT directors need to take responsibility for hardware disposal or face the threat of fines or imprisonment, Gartner has warned.

The analyst firm used its annual ITxpo conference in Cannes last week to urge CIOs to take more responsibility for environmental issues and to drive the green IT agenda, rather than abdicating ¬responsibility to IT suppliers.

“It is illegal to dispose of PCs by shipping them to another country,” warned principal research analyst Meike Escherich. If caught, she said IT chiefs could face five-figure fines and up to two years’ imprisonment.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive comes into force next year to address how companies dispose of old hardware.  Gartner estimates that 800 million PCs will be replaced during the next five years, 64% of which will be fit only for scrap.

Although new technologies such as multicore processors mean modern computers can do more work than the machines they replace, Rakesh Kumar, research vice-president at Gartner, advised IT directors to use techniques such as server consolidation and virtualisation to make better use of existing hardware where possible.

He said this would mean existing hardware could be retained for longer, which not only brought environmentally benefits, but would buy time for the IT industry to evolve better methods for disposing of computers.



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