Gartner reveals ICT's contribution to emissions

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Gartner reveals ICT's contribution to emissions

Gartner estimates the ICT indsutry's contributes around two percent of global emissions.

The global information and communications technology (ICT) industry accounts for approximately two percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a figure equivalent to aviation, according to a new estimate by Gartner.

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007: Emerging Trends conference analysts from the research giant examined the impact the ICT industry is having on the environment, as well as the steps the industry should take to become greener.

Gartner’s estimate of the two percent of global CO2 emissions that ICT is responsible for includes the in-use phase of PCs, servers, cooling, fixed and mobile telephony, local area network (LAN), office telecommunications and printers.

It has also included an estimate of the embodied (that used in design, manufacture and distribution) energy in large-volume devices, namely PCs and cell phones. It also included all commercial and governmental IT and telecommunications infrastructure worldwide, but not consumer electronics other than cell phones and PCs.

Simon Mingay, research vice president at Gartner said until now few organisations were concerned about power costs and CO2 emissions. Although there is still a significant range of views and levels of awareness around the world and across industries, there is no doubt about the increased awareness of climate change.

“During the next five years, increasing financial, environmental, legislative and risk-related pressures will force IT organisations to get ‘greener’; that is to say, more environmentally sustainable,” said Mingay.

Mingay said Gartner believes the ICT industry needs to gain a better understanding of the full life cycle of ICT products and services, and innovate to reduce environmental impact. This does not currently happen because of the lack of a commercial or legislative need to do so.

“Going green’ is no longer the reserve of a minority ‘doing the right thing’; it’s becoming an essential activity for all IT leaders,” said Mingay.

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