Article

The green IT revolution

3 min read

Published on 20 June 2024

The green IT revolution

Have you considered the internet's environmental impact? Its energy use rivals that of countries like the Netherlands and Argentina.

In an era where digitalization permeates every aspect of our lives, the symbiotic relationship between technology and sustainability has become more critical than ever. As we witness the surge in digital usage amid ecological crises, the imperative to navigate this intersection has never been clearer. Understanding the risks, vulnerabilities, and ecological impacts of our IT usage lays the foundation for companies to not only confront IT challenges but to transform them into opportunities, constructing resilient IT systems within a holistic Net Zero strategy.

Where do IT emissions come from?

In addition to the environmental impact of the Internet, there are further climate repercussions when factoring in the resources needed for constructing data centers and manufacturing hardware (such as mobile phones, computers, routers, etc.). 

Collectively, the climate footprint attributable to our devices, internet usage, and supporting infrastructure contributes to a significant 3.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. What's more concerning is the projected eightfold increase in this impact by the year 2030. This underscores the pressing need for green IT initiatives to mitigate the escalating environmental consequences of our digital activities.

Green IT as the future emission factor

Green IT strives to make data processing and IT infrastructure provision as environmentally friendly as possible. By addressing the negative impacts throughout the life cycle, from development and production to operation and disposal, Green IT emerges as the linchpin for a sustainable future.

 

Content IMG _The green IT revolution_2200px

Energy and resource management at the core

  • Energy use: Optimizing the energy consumption of IT applications and infrastructure is crucial. The IT industry in the European Union accounts for 4.2% of energy consumption, rivalling the aviation industry's contribution to the EU's GHG footprint.
  • Materials: Minimizing the use of hazardous materials and promoting biodegradability are pivotal. The weight of materials required for digital services in the EU equals the total weight of all people, with electronic waste being the fastest-growing waste stream globally.

Opportunities in Green IT

Consider, for instance, the power usage effectiveness factor (PUE) of your IT system. Are you aware of how to reduce your carbon usage effectiveness factor (CUE) down to zero? Beyond these metrics, what measures does your company employ to promote sustainability in IT operations?

Today, the ICT-sector is accountable for a large amount of global greenhouse gas emissions – potentially surpassing the aviation sector's contribution to global emissions. 

Achieving green IT requires companies to embrace a multifaceted approach:

  • Reducing emissions through adjusted energy consumption: Transitioning to sustainable energy sources and migrating data to a sustainable cloud are vital steps to curbing emissions.
  • Sustainable web accelerator: Analyzing the CO2 impact of websites ensures energy-efficient internet usage.
  • Circular IT: Defining a strategy for the IT circular economy helps save critical resources and reduces GHG emissions.

In the quest for a sustainable future, companies can pioneer change by embracing Green IT. This not only benefits the environment but also positively impacts the corporate brand throughout the value chain, embodying a holistic sustainability strategy. 

For inquiries about Green IT and its transformative potential, reach out to us.


Insights

Women in Drupal Awards 2022 
Article

Women in Drupal Awards 2022 

3 min read
What is Personalisation?
Article

What is Personalisation?

4 min read
JAKALA (formerly FFW) Honored With 2022 Acquia Engage Award
Article

JAKALA (formerly FFW) Honored With 2022 Acquia Engage Award

4 min read
Navigating Key Technical Decisions in a world of complex digital platforms
Article

Navigating Key Technical Decisions in a world of complex digital platforms

4 min read