Reputable scientific studies continue to show that the Earth is warming at an unsustainable rate.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the greenhouse gases produced by human activities have already warmed the climate by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-Industrial times.
And within the next few decades, the global average temperature is expected to reach or exceed nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in a rise of sea levels and altering weather patterns.
While it may not be as visible as other industries, such as transportation or manufacturing, the IT industry is actually a major contributor to global warming and climate change.
Realizing this, many businesses in the IT industry have begun to embrace sustainable IT.
In this post, we dive into the concept and list a number of things that businesses can do to make their IT operations more sustainable.
What is Sustainable IT?
Sustainable IT, also known as green IT or green computing, refers to the effort to ensure a positive impact on the environment with regard to the production, use, and disposal of technology.
IT is a critical part of modern society, and its importance is only going to increase in the coming years.
The growth of the IT sector, however, has resulted in an increase in energy consumption and carbon emissions. Data centers consume a significant amount of energy, and the production of IT hardware generates a lot of waste.
Electronic waste (e-waste) is another major concern. E-waste includes electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, which are discarded when they reach the end of their useful life. Today, most electronics are replaced every 4.5 years.
By embracing sustainable IT practices, companies aim to reduce energy consumption, minimize e-waste, and promote social and environmental responsibility throughout the IT supply chain. And by doing so, they can benefit from cost savings, improved brand image, and increased customer loyalty.
How Companies Can Make Their Businesses More Green
There are several strategies that companies can adopt to promote sustainability in IT.
Here are some of the most effective approaches:
Reducing consumption is the first step towards sustainability. To achieve this, companies can embrace energy-efficient technologies, such as virtualization and cloud computing.
Virtualization allows a company to run multiple operating systems on a single server and cloud computing delivers IT services over the internet.
These technologies enable companies to consolidate their IT infrastructure, resulting in lower energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Companies can reduce their energy consumption by switching to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to power their data centers and IT infrastructure.
By embracing a circular IT strategy, an approach that aims to minimize waste by keeping products and materials in circulation for as long as possible, companies can reuse and refurbish older IT equipment.
And when that equipment fails, they can recycle it instead of throwing it away.
Utilize Energy Efficient Hardware
Companies can promote sustainability by adopting sustainable procurement practices.
When purchasing new IT equipment, companies should look for products that have been certified by the Energy Star program.
These products meet certain energy efficiency standards and can also help save on costs.
Companies can promote sustainability by raising awareness among employees. This can include training programs that educate employees on sustainability practices and encourage them to adopt sustainable habits in their daily work.
By adopting strategies such as these, companies can promote sustainability in IT and contribute to a more sustainable world.