How to cut your IT carbon emissions in one easy step

Jun 06, 2018

Do you know that the IT industry produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as the airline business? Many people overlook this startling fact and, therefore, don’t even think about including IT operations in their sustainability report.

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In 2007, Gartner published research comparing carbon dioxide emissions from the airline business with the IT industry. Surprisingly, the research showed that the two areas emitted the same amount of the harmful gas.

Many people forget that every single piece of IT equipment gives off carbon dioxide – servers, routers, cooling systems and computers. When you add it all up, IT produces 2-3% of the world’s annual emissions. What’s more, the tables have changed since Gartner released the report a decade ago and the IT industry now creates more carbon dioxide than the airlines.

Businesses must start to be accountable for all of their emissions, not just the obvious ones from transport or manufacturing. The first step on this journey is to measure and report the amount of carbon dioxide produced by IT operations currently. Understanding what a business produces today makes it easier to design a strategy to reduce emissions in the future.

Data centers account for 25% of the industry’s carbon emissions and with a large proportion of an organisation’s IT equipment sited in these mega-facilities, it’s the best place to start. You can make a huge difference by simply choosing a green data center (read more about them here). 

These data centers use a combination of methods such as running on renewable power, using energy wisely and making sure they don’t let heat go to waste to reduce their impact on the environment. Pick one of these as your colocation partner and hey presto you’ve slashed your organisation’s carbon emissions!