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Understanding the importance of Green IT in business

| November 11, 2012 | 0 Comments


As the Information Technology has become the considerable part in social infrastructure, it plays an important role in human’s life. Computing is a rapid growing technology or area which depletes energy a lot. A computer which is a machine performs well depletes lots of energy. Generally a computer consumes lot of energy for functioning. By the rapid development of the technologies people usually tend to use and depends on this technologies more and more. As the energy is a non renewable resource this rapid usage will lead us to many issues. If we go on use this computer rapidly in future it will soon cost more to power a computer than purchasing a new one. So to overcome this wastage of energy mainly in the data centers considerably and to minimize the cost effectiveness and also to reduce the effects on the environment an initiative was designed, declared and commenced by the U.S environmental protection agency in 1992 as an energy star program which was designed to promote and recognize the energy efficiency. This program was basically designed to encourage and recognize the energy efficiency in the monitors, climate control equipments and other technologies. Therefore to minimize this wastage of energy and to recognize the efficiency the term Green Computing was emerged shortly after the energy star program and this method of initiative was introduced to maximize the energy efficiency and increase the recyclability of products and the factory waste, mainly to preserve the environment from the bad effects of the technological enhancement.

Green computing is also generally referred as Green IT. The main idea is to have the least human impact on the environment and it mainly aims to achieve the environmental sustainability. Green computing or Green IT refers to the study and the efficient use of eco friendly computing technology.

According to Sam Murugesan (Article: Harnessing Green IT)  Green Computing is “the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using and disposing of computers, servers and associated sub systems- such as monitors, printers, storage devices, networking and communication systems- efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment” (Murugesan 2008).

Information Technology has brought several changes and also found many solutions for the environmental sustainability but at the same time it also caused a lot of issues particularly in the data centers where the energy is consumed excessively (Murugesan 2010).

Information Technology affects the environment in several dissimilar ways in the every stage of the computers life that is from the production and to the end of the disposal stage that is last stage. Therefore increase in the consumption of the energy may leads to green house affect due to carbon dioxide gas emissions because the source of energy is from oil, coal and burning of gas.(Murugesan 2008).

Hopper, the professor of computer technology at the university of Cambridge declared that “ the system we now employ is hugely wasteful” and he has proposed a system that is much efficient and helps in minimizing the consumption of energy resource, because he believed that moving the data is always cheaper than energy resource.(Kurp 2008).


Approaches to Green IT:

Murugesan has explained a holistic approach and he told to follow this approach for completely addressing the environmental impacts of Information Technology this approach consists of four steps to gain the environmental sustainability:

1. Green Use which aims in minimizing the energy consumption of the computer systems and also the products using them in an efficient manner.

2. Green disposal where reusing of systems and refurbishing takes place and also the proper disposing, unwanted recycling of computers and other equipment takes place.

3. Green design where designing the energy efficient and environmentally sound computers and accessories such as servers and cooling devices.

4. Green manufacturing which targets to manufacture the computer systems and its components with minimal effect on the environment.


Murugesan illustrated some of the area and activities where the above four steps focuses on:

1. Designing for the environmental sustainability.

2. Energy-efficient computing.

3. Power management.

4. Design of the data center and its layout and location

5. Server virtualization to split the server.

6. Responsible disposal, reusing and recycling.

7. Regulatory compliance.

8. Green metrics, assessment tools and methodology.

9. Environment-related risk reducing.

10 .Use of renewable energy sources and

11. Eco-labeling of IT products



Dell and Hewlett Packard are the two computer manufacturing companies who had decided to solve the problem by retooling their products. On the other hand the efficient environmental solution from the David Wang the data center architect for Teradata says that have a look at the entire lifecycle of the computer the complete picture from manufacturing as every step depletes energy he says that make a reliable method to remove the heat from the data centers than buying a new one. (Kurp 2008)

The solutions produced by the Hasbrouck and Woodruff, they have suggested two strategies for Green IT:

1. Minimize the computing technology’s contribution to the issue by producing the energy efficient computers by taking reusability into consideration during computers’ designing and make use of less materials and work toward computers’ and related systems’ recycling. Moreover they have shown that truing off the inactive computers; by utilizing energy efficient computer devices and reduction of emissions that are emitted from computers’ manufacturing are the significant parts of this strategy.

2. Hand over computing a role in changing the problem by creating green appliances which enable design green processes and objects such as design green buildings, invent source of renewable energy and designing fuel efficient aircraft.

In Green computing or Green IT the most efforts have been directed towards the first strategy to solve the environmental issues which have increased along with the usage of the computers.

As a result of several problems caused by the computers, several associations are turning to green computing to save the money and reduce the waste. To do so Dick Sullivan listed five trends majorly:

1. Server Virtualization in all the forms particularly for servers, storage and network environments. In other words changing the entire machines into a software based entities for example a room with five servers is transformed and replaced with a single efficient server with having high performance.

2. Make use of the cloud computing where it doesn’t require the own data centers, servers or storage systems. Although most of the organizations require only small amount of equipment and functionality in that casting they can usually buy what they require from someone else who will be the one responsible to the security, power and maintenance.

3. Sullivan proposed that “a huge amount of data is basically an exact duplicate of other data”, so changing it into intelligent compression or into single instance storage which can eliminate this waste and cut the total data storage required.

4. Solid state disk is not comprised of moving parts and is not magnetic that is reason it is a stronger, secure and the faster way to access the data.

5. Every person can be part or effect of green computing project suppose when s/he has more awareness of her/his direct and indirect daily computing habits. Suppose for Employees considering an example, who can support green computing if they use to turn off computers not in use, banning screen savers and shorten the turn-off times when computers are inactive. On the other hand, printing waste a lot of papers, so managing this daily process by printing only as needed and adopting double sided printing will make a significant impact (Clarke 2009).


Industry initiatives:

Many efforts have been made to encourage and support the concept of green computing. The climate savers computing initiative is mainly to aims at encouraging and enhancing, deployment and adaptation of smaller technologies in order to maximize the efficiency of power delivery and to minimize the waste of energy, as this is an initiative with nonprofit group of businesses, consumers and organizations started by Google and Intel in 2007and by 2010  their main aim is to reduce the total co2 emission of computer systems by 54 million tons (Wikipedia)

1. Climate savers computing initiative.

2. Green electronics council.

3. Green computing impact organization.

4. Green Grid.



It is better to raise the awareness in the people about the danger or the impact that threatens the earth if they continue to use the same traditional methods and computers and also to teach the benefits of green IT.

By implementing the Green IT issues in all the impact areas which offer individual and financial benefits where information technology will achieve the better and most efficiency approach through green initiatives. In one of the survey made my sun micro system Australia 1500 responses have been gathered from 758 dissimilar sized organizations. Almost all these responses revealed that the main reasons for following green IT practices are due to reducing in consumption of energy and get lower costs.

However most companies have started to prioritize the environmental problems and most of the institutions and corporate ask their suppliers then consider into account how to “green up” their products and manufacturing processes   not only the companies but also several people began to adhere to eco friendly environmental issues of Information Technology.(Murugesan 2008)



Green computing or Green IT is popular in note and it is not only considered as an organizational responsibility that must be undertaken by all the computer users. Home computer owners must also follow the Green IT practices to make the environment sustainable.



1. Murugesan. S., 2008, “Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices,” IEEE IT Professional, January–February 2008, pp 24-33.

2. Murugesan, S., 2010. Making IT Green. IEEE Computer Society, Vol. 12, No. 2.

3. Hasbrouck, J. & Woodruff, A., 2008. Green Homeowners as Lead Adopters: Sustainable Living and Green Computing. Intel Technology Journal, 12(1), 39-48.

4. Kurp, P., 2008. Green Computing. Communications of the ACM, Vol 51(10), 11-13.

5.  Clarke, K., 2009. Green computing trends you should know. Associations Now, Vol 5(8), 19






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Category: Free Essays, Information Technology

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