Green IT could have big global reach

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Green IT could have big global reach

An increasingly consolidated and energy efficient IT infrastructure could play a major part in cutting emissions, according to a recent report.

The report, issued by research firm Boston Consulting Group, suggests that by 2020 green IT programs could provide a savings of anywhere from 13-22 per cent on total US emissions.

If monetized, those reduced emissions would account for as much as $240bn in savings on energy costs.

The savings would come not only from more efficient datacenters, but also from reduced vehicle emissions due to telecommuting and savings on office energy use.

Telecommuting and holding virtual meetings could account for some $20-40bn worth of savings, while increased efficiency in office buildings through both more efficient IT and better building designs could save as much as $40-50bn.

Also cited was the ability for new software and hardware systems to more efficiently manage power grids and transportation systems.

The US-centric study (PDF) was issued as an addendum to a June study by the group which estimated that globally, the IT industry could by 2020 save an amount of carbon emissions greater than the current outputs of the US and China combined.

The report was originally commissioned by the Climate Group, an environmental think-tank, and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

Energy efficiency has arisen as a top priority for enterprise IT departments in recent years. Once seen as a way to improve a company's public image and social status, a green technology program has also become a major economic boost in the face of carbon emissions standards and rising energy costs.

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