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Twelve Answers to Your Green IT Questions

The time has come for CIOs to get with green. But if you need help in figuring out how to make your IT operations more environmentally friendly, this article will provide you some help. Here are the answers to 12 fundamental questions around green IT

The time has come for CIOs to get with green. But if you need help in figuring out how to make your IT operations more environmentally friendly, this article will provide you some help. Here are the answers to 12 fundamental questions around green IT.

What is sustainable IT?

Sustainable, or 'green', IT is a catch-all term used to describe the manufacture, management, use and disposal of information technology in a way that minimizes damage to the environment. As a result, the term has many different meanings, depending on whether you are a manufacturer, manager or user of technology.

What is sustainable IT manufacturing?

Sustainable IT manufacturing refers to methods of producing products in a way that does not harm the environment. It encompasses everything from reducing the amount of harmful chemicals used in products (such as lead and mercury) to making them more energy efficient and packaging them with recycled materials.

What is sustainable IT management and use?

Sustainable IT management and use has to do with the way a company manages its IT assets. It includes purchasing energy-efficient desktops, notebooks, servers and other IT equipment, as well as managing the power consumption of that equipment. It also refers to the environmentally safe disposal of that equipment, through recycling or donation at the end of its lifecycle.

What is sustainable IT disposal?

Sustainable IT disposal refers to the safe disposal of IT assets. It ensures that old computer equipment does not end up in a landfill, where the toxic substances it contains can leach into groundwater, among other problems. Many of the major hardware manufacturers offer take-back programs, so IT departments don't have to take responsibility for disposal.

What is the goal of sustainable IT?

The goal behind most green initiatives, including green IT, is to promote environmental sustainability. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainability as an approach to economic development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

What does it have to do with me?

No one seriously disputes that global warming is due to human activity. And IT is an energy hog. Gartner estimates that power consumption by computers accounts for 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. That's roughly equal to the carbon output of the airline industry.

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