More silicon, less carbon
The Economist, November 19, 2008
“Please consider the environment before printing this message.” Those words, appearing at the bottom of many e-mails, are a visible manifestation of a trend that will gather momentum in 2009: the move towards more environmentally friendly information technology, or “green IT”. Advertisements for PCs already tout their meagre energy consumption just as prominently as their number-crunching prowess.
Overall, computing and telecommunications today produce 2% of global emissions, according to the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), an industry group. Of these, 49% come from PCs and printers, 37% from telecoms networks and devices, and 14% from data centres—the large warehouses full of computers operated by companies.