Green IT is all the rage these days, with companies like Apple, Dell, Oracle, and Microsoft touting the energy efficiency and low carbon footprints of their data centers. But is IT ever really environmentally friendly?
According to Richard Hawkins, the University of Calgary’s Canada Research Chair in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, the answer is no.
Most IT operations use the energy efficiency of daily operations as a measure of sustainability, but they neglect to take into account the energy required to manufacture their computers. The toxicity of components used in electronics is also rarely considered, and IT departments often fail to factor in the waste left over when equipment is no longer in use.
If companies really want greener IT departments, they must take into account the entire lifespan of their electronics–from production to the junk pile.