IT's future is going greener

It is getting hard to avoid all things green these days, as environmental issues climb the political agenda, and IT is as much in the spotlight as any sector.

It is getting hard to avoid all things green these days, as environmental issues climb the political agenda, and IT is as much in the spotlight as any sector.

What's more, the pressure will grow, especially given the recently-released finding that servers last year accounted for more than 4% of the UK's total commercial electricity consumption.

But for the IT community - suppliers and corporate users - the efficiency of datacentres remains just the tip of the green-tinged iceberg if it is to get its house in order.

In August, a survey published by Greenpeace named and shamed PC and laptop suppliers whose manufacturing processes were deemed to be insufficiently environmentally sound.

Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics ranked the top 14 PC and laptop makers on their use of harmful chemicals and waste recycling, but not one was seen as measuring up, with Apple and Hewlett-Packard coming out worst.

With bad publicity like this doing the rounds, changes in business practices could be brought about by the fact that reputations will soon be on the line.

With or without legislation, it is easy to envisage a time in the not too distant future when corporate IT users and suppliers will suffer if they are not seen to be minimising their environmental impact, or "carbon footprint".

A more immediate driver for CIOs is the fact that energy costs are continuing to rise, so any steps firms can take to cut their energy requirements are likely to have a noticeable impact on the bottom line.

We may be a few years away from "zero-carbon" datacentres, but IT directors can speed the process - if they genuinely desire to.

The green machine >>

Read more on IT legislation and regulation

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