Summary
Green computing, green IT (Information Technology), or ICT sustainability, is the study and practice of environmentally sustainable computing or IT. The goals of green computing are similar to green chemistry: reduce the use of hazardous materials, maximize energy efficiency during the product's lifetime, increase the recyclability or biodegradability of defunct products and factory waste. Green computing is important for all classes of systems, ranging from handheld systems to large-scale data centers. Many corporate IT departments have green computing initiatives to reduce the environmental effect of their IT operations. Yet it is also clear that the environmental footprint of the sector is significant, estimated at 5-9% of the world's total electricity use and more than 2% of all emissions. Data centres and telecommunications will need to become more energy efficient, reuse waste energy, and use more renewable energy sources to stay competitive. Some believe they can and should become climate neutral by 2030. In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program that is designed to promote and recognize the energy efficiency in monitors, climate control equipment, and other technologies. This resulted in the widespread adoption of sleep mode among consumer electronics. Concurrently, the Swedish organization TCO Development launched the TCO Certified program to promote low magnetic and electrical emissions from CRT-based computer displays; this program was later expanded to include criteria on energy consumption, ergonomics, and the use of hazardous materials in construction. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a survey of over 90 government and industry initiatives on "Green ICTs", i.e. information and communication technologies, the environment and climate change. The report concludes that initiatives tend to concentrate on the greening ICTs themselves rather than on their actual implementation to reduce global warming and environmental degradation.
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