Green IT: Our Survival Depends On It!

Did you know that by 2030, we will need two Earths in order to sustain our current consumption needs (Aljazeera 2012)? Or that if the Internet were a country, it would rank fifth in the world for high-energy use (Greenpeace)? Believe it or not, but the IT industry is adding to climate woes. At the moment, ‘Green IT’ hasn’t taken off yet, but it will, as we simply don’t have two Earths! An increased demand for IT services will also create a greater need for the industry to watch its carbon footprint, and to make huge green overhauls. Here are some more reasons why Green IT has the potential to be huge.

Green IT has government backing

The Australian government realizes that the IT industry will need to change. According to one governmental website, the global green markets are projected to double by 2020. The government is committed to becoming greener too, as it aims to make 20% of electricity renewable by 2020.The increase in demand for greener technology will be also based on the need for businesses to be more resource efficient, and a change in business models. In addition, Australia has the highest private share ownership in the world. Most of these shares are owned by high-income, educated young people; which are precisely the kind of people who would be most likely to follow the emerging green trend.

Current trends will lead to a greener industry

According to ClimateSpectator.com.au, cloud servers currently use 2% of the global energy demand, which is powered by coal. Demand for cloud hosting is set to grow exponentially worldwide, and energy efficiency is bound to become a huge issue. Businesses will have no choice but to re-evaluate their green practices (or lack thereof), particularly within the IT sector.

Survival will require innovation

The mere fact that 2% of cloud hosting is powered by a finite resource is evidence of the need to green innovation. The IT industry prides itself on being on the cutting edge of technology, but so far IT has been lagging behind other industries, particularly in Australia (Fujitsu Sustainability Report 2011). We will inevitably run out of coal and a reliable alternative energy source needs to be found. Businesses won’t be able to operate unless some serious innovation and re-thinking takes place. Green IT has the potential to expand tremendously. And if it doesn’t, the whole world is going to be in big trouble.

Ang Lloyd writes on behalf of Now Learning, an online education portal that promotes distance learning in Australia, including IT courses and marketing and management diplomas.

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