IT crowd looks at carbon emissions

A global consortium dedicated to making IT more carbon-friendly has produced a new set of guidelines and recommendations for the industry.

The Green Grid, a non-profit organisation which started operating at the beginning of 2007, unveiled its framework for increasing energy efficiency in data centres and business computing at its first Technical Forum earlier this month.

The US-based organisation, which counts IT giants such as Dell, Intel and Microsoft among its board members, aims to provide recommendations on best practices and technologies that can benefit the industry.

This month it announced that its membership, which includes companies ranging from telecoms firm BT to social networking site Facebook, has passed the 150 milestone.

Jim Pappas, a director of The Green Grid, said: “Through our growing membership, we have access to member research facilities and key IT experts, enabling us to scope and understand the challenge and identify effective solutions.”

Last autumn, The Green Grid signed collaboration agreements with the US Department of Energy and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) to work together to reduce the carbon footprint of the IT industry.

The Department of Energy wants to reduce US data centre energy use by 10% by 2011 – a saving of 10.7bn kWh – equivalent to the electricity used by 1m American homes. It will also save about 6.5m metric tons of CO2 a year.

A European study released on Thursday revealed that more than 80% of IT managers in Europe say they would be happy to pay price premiums for energy efficient products.

But the study by Lenovo and co-sponsored by AMD – another member of The Green Grid board of directors – also revealed that nearly two-thirds of European IT managers said they are not yet using energy-efficient PCs.

A UK report published in December revealed that the ICT sector has a carbon footprint similar to that of the aviation industry.

Kate Martin

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