What is Green IT?

Green IT touches all our lives and brings together two issues concerning the future of our world: technology and the environment. As technology continues to advance rapidly, the IT community must ensure this progression is focused on serving individuals and society in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Computing Services at the University is at the forefront of Green IT initiatives in the HE community and is committed to minimising the impact IT has on the environment, and creating a more efficient system for the University to operate on.

Why is Green IT important?

Like everything we do IT has an environmental impact, much more significant than most people realise. The global IT industry accounts for approximately 2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions - a figure equivalent to aviation. ICT is the fastest growing sector of energy use in a world where competition for energy is increasing. 

The environmental impacts of IT come mainly in manufacture, use and disposal. Yet in the context of depleting natural resources the IT industry faces a challenge in reducing the impact of mining, the energy used in the manufacturing process, and waste of resources in disposal.

IT Solutions

Although IT is part of the problem of increasing energy demands and carbon emissions, sustainable and efficient IT is key to the solution. By combining social responsibility, smart resource use and technological innovation, Green IT goes some way in addressing some of the technological solutions that could make many sectors (including the Higher Education sector) more efficient. 

Examples of this include dematerialisation through e-billing instead of paper billing, teleconferencing instead of travelling to meetings and e-media instead of producing CDs or newspapers.

IT also has a part to play in manufacturing and logistics sectors, with the introduction of smart motors on machinery to reduce the amount of energy used by production lines, and better communication between different sections of the supply chain.

Demand management and smart meters will help companies supplying energy run more efficient systems, whilst interactive real-time energy displays prompt users to consider their energy consumption.