Green PC service pilot to tackle ‘cyber-warming’

The Manchester City Council is to launch a new green PC service to tackle 'Cyber-Warming' and reduce CO2 emission levels in the IT Industry, which some experts claim is at the same level of emissions as the airline industry.

An estimated 35m tonnes of CO2 is generated annually from the production, operation and disposal of IT equipment like PCs, printers and monitors.

This is the equivalent of more than 1m extra flights in the UK each year.

“The Green PC Service combines green values with improved services,” said Dave Carter, head of Manchester Digital Development Agency, a member of the Taskforce.

“It mashes-up a Web 2.0 business model, from the likes of iTunes and Napster, with a new approach to delivering thin client computing that integrates with current networks. The result will be radically reduced emissions and costs, and massively increased access to applications and services for users.”

The public-private Green Shift taskforce will be led by Manchester City Council, and will use a central hosting system. All applications will be web-based with users accessing services including Office applications, email and internet surfing through a small desktop box ‘that is simpler and less energy intensive.’

The taskforce says the data centres will use concentrated energy efficiency measures such as non-fossil fuel power and low carbon build achieving 75% fewer resources in production, 98% less energy in operation and lasts three times as long compared to the standard PC.

Early testing indicates a projected price of less than £70. Piloting of the project is to start in early 2008, and ready for roll-out in late 2009.

Phil Woolas MP, Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “The new taskforce is the first of its kind in the world and is a sign of how serious the UK is about tackling this issue. Innovative proposals like the ‘Green PC Service’ are essential if we are to tackle climate change.”

Dana Gornitzki

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