Gear up for the future of the Green IT environment

Green Computing drives energy-saving techniques for enterprise systems, from network proxies and virtual machine migration to the return of thin clients.

Implementing sustainable equipment is actually Green Computing or Sustainable Computing. It turns around creating environmentally sound Information Communication Technology ( ICT). But Green technology is only profitable to us when it will work efficiently and effectively, with minimal or no impact on the environment.

Apparently, everybody is willing to go for green computing. As San Murugesan was already pointing out his opinion in ‘Harnessing GreenIT’ -“We are legally, ethically, and socially required to green our IT products, applications, services, and practices”.

Equally, Tariq Soomro and Muhammad Sarwar observe in their paper ‘Green Computing: From Current to Future Trends’- “Organizations are realizing that the source and amount of their energy consumption significantly contributes to Greenhouse Gas emissions.”

According to Soomro and Sarwar,“In the past, the focus was on computing efficiency and cost associated to IT equipment and infrastructure services were considered low cost and available. Now the infrastructure is becoming the bottleneck in IT environments, and the reason for this shift is due to growing computing needs, energy cost and global warming. This shift is a great challenge for IT industry”.

Green Technology: Fast And Futuristic Change In Europe

IT departments of European countries and ICT professionals are consistently facing the challenge of providing a green IT environment for upcoming years.

May be, it is possible that organizations are in growing demand for the global energy. According to the European Commission’s Energy Road Map 2050, European companies face rising energy costs for at least another 15 years.

Additionally, European organizations may suffer with more government taxes if they do not address the environmental implications of their infrastructure. Public expectation of governmental action is high in Europe. As per EC Climate Change report from 2011, it was found that most of the Europeans suffer from climate change, which is a more serious problem than the economic situation. Indeed, 20 per cent of Europeans feel climate change is the single most serious problem.

Green Technology: Reasons To Invest In Sustainable Technology

While investing in green technology, one factor is most important to consider, that is “how to identify sustainable ICT products at the first place”.

ENERGY STAR is known for an international standard for energy efficient consumer products, introduced in the United States in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, then in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the European Union implemented the program. Devices having an ENERGY STAR label like computer products and peripherals, kitchen appliances, buildings and other products, generally use 20 to 30 percent less energy than required by federal standards.

Alternatively, for a company to join the ENERGY STAR program, an organization’s top-ranking official must make a public commitment to improve energy efficiency.

According to the EPA, this award is “a new distinction that recognizes products that deliver cutting edge energy efficiency along with the latest in technological innovation”. There is race within enterprises developing ever larger, more powerful and more efficient equipment. So, if green purchasing is a factor, it’s useful considering the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient awards.

For example, EPA awarded two Lenovo monitors in 2014, the ThinkVision LT2223d Wide and ThinkVision LT2452p Wide, its ‘ENERGY STAR Most Efficient’ products designation. Both monitors exceed ENERGY STAR 6.0 power consumption requirements and can deliver long-term savings.

Green IT: Estimating the cost and ROI of sustainable computing

Investing in green technology is effective, only if organizations can calculate their Product Carbon Footprint (PCF), but it is again difficult. According to this Product Carbon Footprint Strategy, published by Lenovo, “There are numerous and, in some cases, nearly insurmountable challenges to calculating an accurate carbon footprint for ICT products, especially if the intent is to use the data for product to product comparison.” Collecting and compiling dependable data from multiple geographies with a continuously evolving ICT product portfolio represents a beneficial challenge.

Even when an organization has data on its carbon footprint, it’s hard for ICT managers to use it effectively. The range of different standards and measurements can make comparison between competing products difficult. Presently, the ICT industry is working towards a common carbon footprint framework that will simplify PCF measurement.

In case of MIT’s ‘Product Attribute to Impact Algorithm’(PAIA) is supported by major ICT providers. It is expected that PAIA will empower the industry as a whole to surround a standard method for evaluating the carbon footprint of products. In the near term, PAIA is enabling participating companies to build tools like the Lenovo Energy Calculator, which provides annual energy cost estimates for several IT configurations. It is expected that this sort of tool will increasingly become part of the ICT decision-making process.

According to a report from the United Nations University, it takes about 1.8 tons of chemicals, fossil fuels and water to produce a typical desktop computer – and worldwide over one billion computers have been sold. According to sources, Carbon Trust evaluated that official devices currently accounts for about 15 per cent of total UK energy use. This figure is expected to increase about 30 per cent by 2020, with computer equipment to account for about two-thirds of this energy consumption. In April 2007, a Gartner Press Release also explained that the global ICT industry accounts for about 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, or roughly the same as aviation.

With energy costs rising, and European governments legislating more and more about carbon footprint management, it is always a good practice to analyze the energy usage of ICT purchases.