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San Murugesan

BRITE Professional Services and University of Western Sydney, Australia

G.R. Gangadharan

Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, India


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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Harnessing green IT : principles and practices / San Murugesan, G. R. Gangadharan, editors. – 1st ed.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-119-97005-7 (cloth)

1. Information technology – Environmental aspects. 2. Computer science – Environmental aspects. 3. Information technology – Energy consumption. 4. Green technology. I. Murugesan, San. II. Gangadharan, G. R.

QA76.9.E58H37 2012 004.028′6 – dc23

2012010715 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN (H/B): 9781119970057


About the Editors xix

About the Authors xxi

Foreword xxix

Preface xxxi

Acknowledgements xxxv

1 Green IT: An Overview 1

San Murugesan and G.R. Gangadharan

Key Points 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Environmental Concerns and Sustainable Development 2

1.2.1 The Inconvenient Truth 3

1.2.2 Sustainable Development 4

1.2.3 Why Should You Go Green? 4

1.3 Environmental Impacts of IT 4

1.4 Green IT 5

1.4.1 OCED Green IT Framework 6

1.4.2 Green IT 1.0 and 2.0 7

1.5 Holistic Approach to Greening IT 7

1.5.1 Greening Computer’s Entire Life Cycle 8

1.5.2 The Three Rs of Green IT 9

1.6 Greening IT 10

1.6.1 Green PCs, Notebooks and Servers 10

1.6.2 Green Data Centres 10

1.6.3 Green Cloud Computing 12

1.6.4 Green Data Storage 12

1.6.5 Green Software 13


1.7 Applying IT for Enhancing Environmental Sustainability 14

1.8 Green IT Standards and Eco-Labelling of IT 15

1.9 Enterprise Green IT Strategy 15

1.9.1 Green Washing 17

1.10 Green IT: Burden or Opportunity? 17

1.11 Conclusion 18

Review Questions 19

Discussion Questions 19

References 19

Further Reading and Useful Web Sites 20

2 Green Devices and Hardware 23

Ashok Pon Kumar and Sateesh S. Kannegala

Key Points 23

2.1 Introduction 23

2.2 Life Cycle of a Device or Hardware 24

2.2.1 Design 25

2.2.2 Manufacturing 26

2.2.3 Packaging and Transportation 28

2.2.4 Use 29

2.3 Reuse, Recycle and Dispose 34

2.4 Conclusions 36

Review Questions 37

Discussion Questions 37

References 37

3 Green Software 39

Bob Steigerwald and Abhishek Agrawal

Key Points 39

3.1 Introduction 39

3.1.1 Processor Power States 40

3.2 Energy-Saving Software Techniques 41

3.2.1 Computational Efficiency 42

3.2.2 Data Efficiency 45

3.2.3 Context Awareness 49

3.2.4 Idle Efficiency 52

3.3 Evaluating and Measuring Software Impact to Platform Power 55 3.3.1 Fluke NetDAQ(Networked Data Acquisition Unit) 55

3.3.2 Software Tools 57

3.4 Summary 59

Acknowledgements 60

Review Questions 61

Discussion Questions 61

References 61


4 Sustainable Software Development 63 Felipe Albertao

Key Points 63

4.1 Introduction 63

4.2 Current Practices 64

4.3 Sustainable Software 65

4.4 Software Sustainability Attributes 66

4.5 Software Sustainability Metrics 68

4.5.1 Modifiability and Reusability 68

4.5.2 Portability 70

4.5.3 Supportability 71

4.5.4 Performance 71

4.5.5 Dependability 71

4.5.6 Usability 71

4.5.7 Accessibility 72

4.5.8 Predictability 72

4.5.9 Efficiency 73

4.5.10 Project’s Carbon Footprint 73

4.6 Sustainable Software Methodology 73

4.6.1 Collecting Metrics 73

4.6.2 Code Metrics Tools 74

4.6.3 Simplified Usability Study 75

4.6.4 Platform Analysis 76

4.6.5 Existing Project Statistics 77

4.7 Defining Actions 77

4.8 Case Study 78

4.8.1 Modifiability and Reusability 78

4.8.2 Portability 78

4.8.3 Supportability 79

4.8.4 Performance 79

4.8.5 Dependability 79

4.8.6 Usability 79

4.8.7 Accessibility 79

4.8.8 Predictability 81

4.8.9 Efficiency 81

4.8.10 Project’s Footprint 81

4.8.11 Results and Actions 81

4.9 Conclusions 82

Review Questions 82

Discussion Questions 82

References 83

5 Green Data Centres 85

Charles G. Sheridan, Keith A. Ellis, Enrique G. Castro-Leon and Christopher P. Fowler


5.1 Data Centres and Associated Energy Challenges 85

5.2 Data Centre IT Infrastructure 87

5.2.1 Servers 87

5.2.2 Networking 89

5.2.3 Storage 89

5.2.4 IT Platform Innovation 90

5.3 Data Centre Facility Infrastructure: Implications for Energy Efficiency 92

5.3.1 Power System 92

5.3.2 Cooling 95

5.3.3 Facilities Infrastructure Management 97

5.4 IT Infrastructure Management 98

5.4.1 Server Power 98

5.4.2 Consolidation 101

5.4.3 Virtualization 104

5.5 Green Data Centre Metrics 106

5.5.1 PUE and DCiE 106

5.5.2 Power versus Energy Consumption 107

5.6 Data Centre Management Strategies: A Case Study 108

5.6.1 Challenges 108

5.6.2 Tested Solution 108

5.6.3 Impact 108

5.6.4 A Thorough Evaluation 109

5.7 Conclusions 110

Review Questions 111

Discussion Questions 111

References 111

Further Reading and Useful Web Sites 112

6 Green Data Storage 113

Pin Zhou and Nagapramod Mandagere

Key Points 113

6.1 Introduction 113

6.2 Storage Media Power Characteristics 115

6.2.1 Hard Disks 115

6.2.2 Magnetic Tapes 117

6.2.3 Solid-State Drives (SSDs) 117

6.3 Energy Management Techniques for Hard Disks 118

6.3.1 State Transitioning 118

6.3.2 Caching 118

6.3.3 Dynamic RPM 119

6.4 System-Level Energy Management 119

6.4.1 RAID with Power Awareness 120

6.4.2 Power-Aware Data Layout 120

6.4.3 Hierarchical Storage Management 121

6.4.4 Storage Virtualization 122


6.5 Summary and Research Areas 124

Review Questions 124

Discussion Questions 124

References 124

7 Green Networks and Communications 127

Cathryn Peoples, Gerard Parr, Sally McClean and Philip Morrow

Key Points 127

7.1 Introduction 127

7.1.1 Green Network Communications and Management: Background 128

7.1.2 The Challenge of Next-Generation Networks 129

7.1.3 Benefits of Energy-Efficient Networks 130

7.1.4 Objectives of Green Networking 131

7.1.5 Core Components in Green-Networking Technology 132

7.2 Objectives of Green Network Protocols 132

7.2.1 Energy-Optimizing Protocol Design 133

7.2.2 Bit Costs Associated with Network Communication Protocols 135

7.2.3 Objectives of Green Network Protocols 138

7.3 Green Network Protocols and Standards 140

7.3.1 Strategies to Reduce Carbon Emissions 140

7.3.2 Contributions from the EMAN Working Group 140

7.3.3 Contributions from Standardization Bodies 142

7.3.4 Context Detail to Drive Energy Efficiency 142

7.4 Conclusions 145

Acknowledgements 145

Review Questions 145

Discussion Questions 146

References 146

Further Reading and Useful Web Sites 148

8 Enterprise Green IT Strategy 149

Bhuvan Unhelkar

Key Points 149

8.1 Introduction 149

8.2 Approaching Green IT Strategies 151

8.3 Business Drivers of Green IT Strategy 153

8.3.1 Cost Reduction 153

8.3.2 Demands from Legal and Regulatory Requirements 154

8.3.3 Sociocultural and Political Pressure 155

8.3.4 Enlightened Self-Interest 155

8.3.5 Collaborative Business Ecosystem 155

8.3.6 New Market Opportunities 156

8.4 Business Dimensions for Green IT Transformation 156

8.4.1 Economy 157

8.4.2 Technology 157


8.4.4 People 158

8.5 Organizational Considerations in a Green IT Strategy 160

8.6 Steps in Developing a Green IT Strategy 161

8.7 Metrics and Measurements in Green Strategies 163

8.8 Conclusions 164

Review Questions 164

Discussion Questions 164

References 164

9 Sustainable Information Systems and Green Metrics 167

Edward Curry and Brian Donnellan

Key Points 167

9.1 Introduction 167

9.2 Multilevel Sustainable Information 168

9.3 Sustainability Hierarchy Models 170

9.3.1 Sustainability Frameworks 170

9.3.2 Sustainability Principles 172

9.3.3 Tools for Sustainability 172

9.4 Product Level Information 173

9.4.1 Life-Cycle Assessment 173

9.4.2 The Four Stages of LCA 173

9.4.3 CRT Monitors versus LCD Monitors: Life Cycle Assessment 174

9.5 Individual Level Information 174

9.6 Functional Level Information 176

9.6.1 Data Centre Energy Efficiency 176

9.6.2 Data Centre Power Metrics 176

9.6.3 Emerging Data Centre Metrics 177

9.7 Organizational Level Information 178

9.7.1 Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions 178

9.8 Regional/City Level Information 181

9.8.1 Developing a City Sustainability Plan: A Case Study 181

9.9 Measuring the Maturity of Sustainable ICT 182

9.9.1 A Capability Maturity Framework for SICT 182

9.9.2 Defining the Scope and Goal 185

9.9.3 Capability Maturity Levels 185

9.9.4 SICT Capability Building Blocks 186

9.9.5 Assessing and Managing SICT Progress 188

9.10 Conclusions 189

Appendix: Sustainability Tools and Standards 190

Acknowledgements 195

Review Questions 195

Discussion Questions 196

References 196

Further Reading and Useful Web Sites 197


10 Enterprise Green IT Readiness 199 Alemayehu Molla and Vanessa Cooper

Key Points 199

10.1 Introduction 199

10.2 Background: Readiness and Capability 201

10.3 Development of the G-Readiness Framework 202

10.3.1 Green IT Attitude 203

10.3.2 Green IT Policy 204

10.3.3 Green IT Governance 204

10.3.4 Green IT Practice 205

10.3.5 Green IT Technology 205

10.4 Measuring an Organization’s G-Readiness 206

10.4.1 G-Readiness Consultancy Services 206

10.4.2 Calculating the G-Readiness Index via a Survey Instrument 207

10.5 Conclusions 207

Review Questions 208

Discussion Questions 209

References 209

11 Sustainable IT Services: Creating a Framework for Service Innovation 211 Robert R. Harmon and Haluk Demirkan

Key Points 211

11.1 Introduction 211

11.2 Factors Driving the Development of Sustainable IT 213

11.2.1 The Sustainability Dimensions of IT 213

11.2.2 Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and IT 216

11.3 Sustainable IT Services (SITS) 219

11.3.1 Developing a Service-Dominant Logic 219

11.3.2 Business Value, Customer Value and Societal Value 220

11.3.3 SITS as Service Science 222

11.4 SITS Strategic Framework 224

11.4.1 The SITS Value Curve 224

11.4.2 Integrating Sustainable IT and Business Strategy 227

11.5 Sustainable IT Roadmap 229

11.5.1 Time Horizon 229

11.5.2 Market Segments 229

11.5.3 Products, Services and Technologies 229

11.5.4 Compliance, Regulations, Standards and Reporting 231

11.5.5 SITS Standards and Reporting 232

11.5.6 Organizational Changes 232

11.5.7 Value Goals 232

11.6 SITS Leadership and Best Practices 233

11.6.1 IBM 233


11.6.3 Siemens AG 235

11.6.4 HP 235

11.6.5 Intel Corporation 235

11.6.6 Microsoft Corporation 235

11.6.7 Oracle 236

11.6.8 Google 236

11.6.9 Apple 236

11.6.10 Samsung 236

11.6.11 Pachube 236

11.6.12 SeeClickFix 237

11.7 Conclusions 237

11.8 Summary 237

Review Questions 238

Discussion Questions 238

References 238

Useful Web Sites 242

12 Green Enterprises and the Role of IT 243

Joseph Sarkis

Key Points 243

12.1 Introduction 243

12.2 Organizational and Enterprise Greening 244

12.2.1 The Green Enterprise: A Value Chain Perspective 245

12.3 Information Systems in Greening Enterprises 248

12.3.1 Environmental Management Information Systems 250

12.3.2 Software and Databases 250

12.3.3 ERP EMISs 250

12.3.4 ERP Challenges and Deficiencies with Respect to EMIS 254 12.3.5 Integrating Environmental and LCA Information with ERP 254 12.3.6 Electronic Environmental and Sustainability Reporting 255

12.4 Greening the Enterprise: IT Usage and Hardware 255

12.4.1 Environmental Information Technology Standards 256

12.4.2 Green Management of Data Centres 256

12.5 Inter-organizational Enterprise Activities and Green Issues 256 12.5.1 Electronic Commerce and Greening the Extended Enterprise 257

12.5.2 Demanufacturing and Reverse Logistics 258

12.5.3 Eco-Industrial Parks and Information Systems 259 12.6 Enablers and Making the Case for IT and the Green Enterprise 261

12.7 Conclusions 262

Review Questions 262

Discussion Questions 262


13 Environmentally Aware Business Process Improvement in the

Enterprise Context 265

Konstantin Hoesch-Klohe and Aditya Ghose

Key Points 265

13.1 Introduction 265

13.2 Identifying the Environmental Impact of an Activity or Process 266

13.2.1 Educated Guess by an Expert 266

13.2.2 Derivation from a Resource Model 267

13.2.3 Carbon-Dioxide Accumulation 267

13.2.4 Activity-Based Costing 267

13.3 A Decision Support Tool for Environmentally Aware Business Process

Improvement 268

13.3.1 Some Preliminaries 268

13.3.2 The Business Process Improvement System 269

13.4 Process Improvement in the Enterprise Context 270

13.4.1 The Enterprise Ecosystem 271

13.4.2 Enterprise Ecosystem Equilibrium 272

13.5 Impact and Change Propagation Analysis 272

13.5.1 Identifying the Consequences of a Business Process Change 272

13.5.2 Re-Establishing a State of Equilibrium 273

13.6 Trade-Off Analysis 275

13.6.1 Cost to Bring about the Change 275

13.6.2 Environmental Operating Costs 276

13.7 An Example 276

13.7.1 As-Is Scenario 276

13.7.2 Improvement Scenarios 277

13.7.3 Assessing Scenarios 278

13.8 Conclusions 280

Review Questions 280

Discussion Questions 280

References 280

14 Managing Green IT 283

Linda R. Wilbanks

Key Points 283

14.1 Introduction 283

14.2 Strategizing Green Initiatives 284

14.2.1 Strategic Thinking 284

14.2.2 Strategic Planning 285

14.2.3 Strategic Implementation 286

14.2.4 Enterprise Architecture Planning 286


14.3.1 Return on Investment 289

14.3.2 Metrics 290

14.3.3 The Goal–Question–Metric (GQM) Paradigm 291

14.4 Information Assurance 292

14.4.1 Risk Management 292

14.5 Communication and Social Media 294

14.6 Case Study 295

14.7 Summary 296

Review Questions 296

Discussion Questions 296

References 296

15 Regulating Green IT: Laws, Standards and Protocols 297

Tom Butler

Key Points 297

15.1 Introduction 297

15.2 The Regulatory Environment and IT Manufacturers 299

15.2.1 RoHS 300

15.2.2 REACh 301

15.2.3 WEEE 302

15.2.4 Legislating for GHG Emissions and Energy Use of IT Equipment 303

15.3 Nonregulatory Government Initiatives 303

15.4 Industry Associations and Standards Bodies 305

15.5 Green Building Standards 306

15.6 Green Data Centres 306

15.7 Social Movements and Greenpeace 308

15.8 Conclusions 311

Review Questions 312

Discussion Questions 313

References 313

Further Reading 314

16 Green Cloud Computing and Environmental Sustainability 315

Saurabh Kumar Garg and Rajkumar Buyya

Key Points 315

16.1 Introduction 315

16.2 What is Cloud Computing? 318

16.2.1 Cloud Computing Characteristics 318

16.2.2 Components of Cloud Computing 319

16.2.3 Cloud Computing Deployment Models 321

16.3 Cloud Computing and Energy Usage Model: A Typical Example 322

16.3.1 User and Cloud Software Applications 323

16.3.2 Cloud Software Stack for the SaaS, PaaS and IaaS Levels 323

16.3.3 Network Devices 324

16.3.4 Data Centres 325


16.5 Towards Energy Efficiency of Cloud Computing 327

16.5.1 Applications 327

16.5.2 Cloud Software Stack: Virtualization and Provisioning 327 16.5.3 Data Centre Level: Cooling, Hardware, Network and Storage 329

16.5.4 Monitoring and Metering 330

16.5.5 Network Infrastructure 331

16.6 Green Cloud Architecture 332

16.7 Case Study: IaaS Provider 334

16.8 Conclusions and Future Directions 336

Acknowledgements 337

Review Questions 337

Discussion Questions 337

References 337

17 Harnessing Semantic Web Technologies for the Environmental

Sustainability of Production Systems 341

Chris Davis, Igor Nikolic and Gerard Dijkema

Key Points 341

17.1 Introduction 341

17.2 Information Management for Environmental Sustainability 344

17.2.1 Invisible Coordination 344

17.2.2 Sustainability and Networks 344

17.2.3 Need for Information Management Techniques 345

17.3 Ecosystem of Software Tools 346

17.3.1 MediaWiki 346

17.3.2 Semantic MediaWiki 348

17.3.3 SparqlExtension 350

17.3.4 Semantic Web 351

17.4 Examples of Managing Data 353

17.4.1 Pages for Commodities 353

17.4.2 Pages for Processes 354

17.4.3 Pages for Overviews and Information Management 356 17.4.4 Reuse of Data across Multiple Levels and Points of View 358

17.5 Challenges and Guiding Principles 358

17.5.1 Challenges 358

17.5.2 Guiding Principles 359

17.6 Conclusions 360

Review Questions 361

Discussion Questions 361

References 361

Further Reading and Useful Web Sites 363

18 Green IT: An Outlook 365

San Murugesan and G.R. Gangadharan

Key Points 365


18.2 Awareness to Implementation 366

18.2.1 Green IT Trends 366

18.2.2 Green Engineering 367

18.3 Greening by IT 368

18.3.1 Using RFID for Environmental Sustainability 368

18.3.2 Smart Grids 369

18.3.3 Smart Buildings and Homes 371

18.3.4 Green Supply Chain and Logistics 371

18.3.5 Enterprise-Wide Environmental Sustainability 372

18.4 Green IT: A Megatrend? 373

18.4.1 Outsourcing and Environmental Attributes 374

18.4.2 Green Audit 375

18.5 A Seven-Step Approach to Creating Green IT Strategy 375

18.5.1 Balancing the Costs and Benefits of Going Green 376

18.6 Research and Development Directions 376

18.7 Prospects 377

Review Questions 378

Discussion Questions 378

References 378

Glossary 381


San Murugesanis Director of BRITE Professional Services and Adjunct Professor in the School of Computing and Mathematics at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He is a Senior Consultant with the Data Insight & Social BI practice of Cutter Consortium, United States. He is also a corporate trainer and an independent IT and education consultant. He held various senior positions at the University of Western Sydney and Southern Cross University, both in Australia, and at Multimedia University in Malaysia. He also worked at the Indian Space Research Organi-sation, Bangalore, India. He has served as Senior Research Fellow of the US National Research Council at the NASA Ames Research Center, United States. In a career spanning over three decades in academia and industry, Dr Murugesan has led several innovative IT projects, provided leadership in teaching and research, and consulted to business, industry and educational institutions.


Abhishek Agrawal(abhishek.r.agrawal@intel.com) has over 10 years of industry expe-rience and is currently a Senior Technical Lead in Intel’s Software Services Group who drives Intel’s initiatives on power efficiency for client and Atom-based platforms. He has significant research experience in energy efficiency and has authored and co-authored several industry white papers and technical papers in refereed international conferences and journals. Abhishek is Intel’s representative for Climate Savers Computing Initiative, has participated in numerous industry panels on green computing, has delivered multi-ple tutorial sessions at industry and academic events and is member of multimulti-ple industry power working groups such as the Extended Battery Life Working Group (EBLWG) and Universal Power Adapter for Mobile Devices (UPAMD).

Felipe Albertao (felipe.albertao@gmail.com) is a Researcher at IBM Research – China who focusses on software solutions for improving urban water systems as part of IBM’s Smarter Planet effort. His previous research and activism are related to the use of technol-ogy for environmental and social development in Brazil (his native country) and the USA. Felipe has a master’s degree in software engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and two decades of experience in information technology.


Cloud Computing: Principles and Paradigms (2011). He is a highly cited author in com-puter science and software engineering worldwide. Software technologies for grid and cloud computing developed under Dr Buyya’s leadership are in use at several academic institutions and commercial enterprises in 40 countries around the world.

Enrique G. Castro-Leon (enrique.g.castro-leon@intel.com) is an Enterprise Architect and Technology Strategist with Intel Corporation working on technology integration for highly efficient virtualized cloud data centres for emerging usage models for cloud com-puting. He is the lead author of two books,The Business Value of Virtual Service Grids: Strategic Insights for Enterprise Decision Makers (2008) andCreating the Infrastructure for Cloud Computing: An Essential Handbook for IT Professionals (2011).

Vanessa Cooper (vanessa.cooper@rmit.edu.au) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business Information Technology and Logistics, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include green IT, IT services, knowledge management and organi-zational learning.

Edward Curry(ed.curry@deri.org) leads the green and sustainable IT research domain at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute. His areas of research include green IT and IS, energy informatics, enterprise-linked data, integrated reporting and cloud computing. Edward has worked extensively with industry and government advising on the adoption patterns, practicalities and benefits of new technologies. He has published in leading journals and books, and has spoken at international conferences including the MIT CIO Symposium. He is an adjunct lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Chris Davis (c.b.davis@tudelft.nl) is currently a PhD Candidate at the Energy and Industry group, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, at Delft University of Technology. In 2001, he graduated with a bachelor of engineering degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt University. In 2007, he received an MSc in industrial ecology from Leiden University with a thesis combining life cycle assessment within agent-based modelling. His current work involves tackling issues of sustainability through a combination of tools such as the Semantic Web, agent-based models and collaborative software such as wikis.


Gerard Dijkema(G.P.J.Dijkema@tudelft.nl) is an Associate Professor at the Energy and Industry group, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Tech-nology. Gerard graduated as a Chemical Engineer (honours) from Twente University of Technology (Enschede, the Netherlands) in 1986 and holds a PhD from Delft University of Technology (PhD thesis: ‘Process System Innovation by Design – Towards a Sustain-able Petrochemical Industry’, 2004). His expertise spans energy technology, large-scale process industry, transition, networked process system innovation, the modelling of large-scale systems for decision support and the relation between industrial infra-systems and applicable policy, law and economics.

Brian Donnellan (brian.donnellan@nuim.ie) is Professor of Information Systems Inno-vation at the National University of Ireland Maynooth and Co-director of the InnoInno-vation Value Institute. Prior to joining NUI Maynooth, Professor Donnellan was a faculty mem-ber in the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has spent 20 years working in the ICT industry where he was responsible for the provision of IS to support product development. He is an expert evaluator for the European Commission and has been guest and associate editor of several leading IS journals, including Journal of IT, Journal of Strategic Information Systems andMIS Quarterly.

Keith A. Ellis(keith.a.ellis@intel.com) is an Applied Researcher within Intel Labs, the R&D arm of Intel Corporation, where he primarily focusses on sustainable ICT and ICT enablement in the context of energy efficiency. Keith has worked on both internal sustain-ability projects in the data centre arena and also on European FP7-funded sustainsustain-ability research. His prime interest areas are energy data analytics and impact assessment technol-ogy and practices. Keith holds an MSc in innovation and technoltechnol-ogy management, a BSc (honours) in technology and diplomas in information technology and systems thinking, and he is Lean Six Sigma certified. He has 13 years of industrial experience, primarily in manufacturing. Roles have included operational management, hardware, maintenance and process engineering, business process improvement (BPI) engineering primarily in lean, Lean Six Sigma, systems analyses and people systems.

Christopher P. Fowler (chrisx.fowler@intel.com) has worked in computing science research since 2001. He has held research fellowships with leading research groups focussed on system architectures for distributed e-science, intelligent transport systems and sensor networks. He has an MSc and PhD from Newcastle University, United King-dom. He is currently focussed on the design, integration and demonstration of applied ICT for sustainable energy management.

G.R. Gangadharan (geeyaar@gmail.com) see his biography under ‘About the Editors’ on page xx.


candidature. He has also worked with IBM India Research Laboratory, where he designed and optimized the FFT and Random Access benchmarks for Blue Gene/L. His research interests include resource management, scheduling, utility and grid computing, cloud computing, green computing, wireless networks and ad hoc networks.

Aditya Ghose(aditya@uow.edu.au) is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Wollongong (UoW) and Director of its Decision Systems Lab. He holds a PhD and MSc in computing science from the University of Alberta, Canada. He is Research Leader of the Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Services, Co-Director of the Centre for Oncology Informatics at the UoW Health and Medical Research Institute, Co-leader of the UoW Carbon-Centric Computing Initiative, Co-convenor of the Australian Computer Society’s New South Wales Branch Special Interest Group (NSW SIG) on Green ICT and Vice President of the Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia (CORE) (Australia’s apex body for computing academics).

Robert R. Harmon(harmonr@pdx.edu) is Professor of Marketing and Technology Man-agement and Cameron Research Fellow in the School of Business at Portland State University. His research interests are service innovation, cloud-based sustainable IT ser-vices, ecological design factors for technology products and the strategic migration of manufacturing companies to service enterprise business models. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Intel Corporation, IBM and Tata Consul-tancy Services, among others. He has a PhD in marketing and information systems from Arizona State University.

Konstantin Hoesch-Klohe (konstantin.hoesch@gmail.com) holds a BSc in Business Information Systems from the Hochschule Furtwangen, Germany. Since 2010 he has been a PhD student at the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Wollongong (UoW). Konstantin’s research interests include business process management, enterprise architectures, service science, formal methods and conceptual modelling.

Sateesh S. Kannegala (sateeshks@hp.com) received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts in Physics after receiving his MSc from IIT Kanpur. Since 1994 he has been in the IT Industry and has worked in security and IT service management. He worked as a Solution Architect with HP until 2005. Sateesh currently works as a Senior IT Specialist in IBM, primarily focussing on analytics and optimization of systems and software development. Sateesh is the IBM India Standards Leader and runs the standards programme in India. In addition, Sateesh chairs TEC (Technology Experts Council) India, an affiliate of the IBM Academy of Technology. He is also an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Since April 2012, Sateesh is working as a Senior Technical Manager in Hewlett Packard.


based reporting solution for software development. He speaks regularly on Android at conferences. He currently is working on smarter energy related research where he is working on optimizing energy usage in laptops and in optimizing electricity distribu-tion networks.

Nagapramod Mandagere (pramod@us.ibm.com) is a Researcher in the Service Inno-vation Lab at IBM Almaden Research Center and is concurrently pursuing his PhD. He received his bachelor’s degree from Vishveshwaraiah Technological University, Banga-lore, India in 2003, after which he received a master’s degree at the University of Wyoming in 2005. He worked as a Storage Area Networking (SAN) Consultant for EMC2, following which he started pursuing a PhD at University of Minnesota working on storage systems. In 2008, he started working at IBM focussing on systems resiliency management. His research interests range from resiliency management, replication management and data centre power management to data de-duplication.

Sally McClean (si.mcclean@ulster.ac.uk) is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Her main research interests are in statistical modelling and optimization, particularly for health care planning, and computer science, particularly databases, sensor technology and telecommunications. She is currently a grant holder on over £7M worth of funding, mainly from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and other government sources. Sally is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and a past President of the Irish Statistical Association. She is a recipient of Ulster’s Senior Distinguished Research Fellowship.

Alemayehu Molla(alemayehu.molla@rmit.edu.au) is currently an Associate Professor of Information Systems, and Convener of the Green IT Research Cluster at the School of Business Information Technology and Logistics, RMIT University. He has previously been a Lecturer at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom and at Addis Ababa Uni-versity, Ethiopia. His main research areas are green information technology, e-business, enterprise systems and development informatics. His publications appeared in top-tier information systems, e-business and development informatics journals.

Philip Morrow(pj.morrow@ulster.ac.uk) is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has a BSc in applied mathematics and computer science (1981), an MSc in electronics (1982) and a PhD in computing (1993). His research interests lie in image processing and telecommunications. Specific areas of interest include energy efficiency in network management, resource modelling for multimedia distribution and wireless sensor networks. He is co-investigator on the India–UK Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST). He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has been an investigator in a number of other externally funded research projects.


Igor Nikolic (I.Nikolic@tudelft.nl) is an Assistant Professor at the Energy and Industry group, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology. In his research he specializes in applying complex adaptive systems theory, agent-based modelling and evolutionary theory to model industry and infrastructure network evolu-tion. He takes a heavy hint from evolutionary biology and ecosystem behaviour in his understanding of industrial ecology and sociotechnical system evolution. He is an active networker and promoter of open source and social software that enables collaborative, multidisciplinary research work.

Gerard Parr (gp.parr@ulster.ac.uk) holds the Full Chair in Telecommunications Engi-neering at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Research areas within the group include intelligent mobile agents in xDSL, real-time data analytics for network man-agement systems (NMS), energy-aware infrastructure, resource manman-agement protocols, application performance management, bandwidth provision over synchronous optical net-working (SONET) and synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) in the presence of chaotic impulses and fuzzy inference systems for multicriteria hand-off in tactical communica-tions. He is the UK principal investigator of the EPSRC–DST-funded India–UK Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks of which BT Group is the lead industrial part-ner, and he is also principal investigator in the EPSRC-funded project Sensing Unmanned Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (SUAAVE).

Cathryn Peoples (c.peoples@ulster.ac.uk) is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Faculty of Computing and Engineering at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland and works on the EPSRC–DST-funded project ‘Cross-Layer Energy-Aware Network Manage-ment: A Green ICT Solution’ with the India–UK Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks. She holds a BA (honours) in business and computing (2004), MSc in telecom-munications and Internet systems (2005) and PhD in telecomtelecom-munications (2009) from the University of Ulster. Research interests include cross-layer energy-aware protocol stack optimization and autonomic network operation driven by context awareness and policy-based management, with domains of interest including data centres and delay-tolerant networks.

Joseph Sarkis(jsarkis@clarku.edu) is Professor of Operations and Environmental Man-agement at Clark University. He has a PhD in manMan-agement science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He was Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Business for about five years. His teach-ing interests cover a wide range of topics includteach-ing operations management, logistics, supply chain management, corporate environmental management, management of tech-nology, international management, information systems and technology and also some entrepreneurship. He has published over 250 publications.


electromobility, at both the national and European levels. Charlie has worked with Intel for 17 years with important roles in both TMG Automation and IT Innovation before joining Intel Labs Europe. He has published a number of white papers and journal pub-lications and is co-author of the book Creating the Infrastructure for Cloud Computing: An Essential Handbook for IT Professionals (2011).

Bob Steigerwald (Bob.steigerwald@intel.com) is an engineering manager at Intel Cor-poration. He has over 30 years of industry experience as a software engineer, Associate Professor of Computer Science, program manager and engineering manager. He has spent the past four years leading an Intel team researching methods to improve software perfor-mance and energy efficiency. Bob earned a BS in computer science from the US Air Force Academy, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Bhuvan Unhelkar (bhuvan@methodscience.com) (BE, MDBA, MSc, PhD, FACS) has more than two decades of strategic as well as hands-on professional experience in the ICT industry. As a Founder of MethodScience.com, he has demonstrated consulting and training expertise in business analysis, software engineering, collaborative web services, green IT and mobile business. His domain experience includes banking, financial, insur-ance, government as well as telecommunication organizations. Dr Unhelkar earned his doctorate in the area of object orientation from the University of Technology, Sydney in 1997. Since then, he has authored or edited 17 books in the areas of collaborative business, globalization, mobile business, software quality, business analysis an processes, Unified Modeling Language (UML) and green ICT, and has extensively presented and published papers and case studies. He is an adjunct Associate Professor at the Univer-sity of Western Sydney. Dr Unhelkar is a sought-after orator, Fellow of the Australian Computer Society (elected to this prestigious membership grade in 2002 for distinguished contribution to the field of ICT), life member of the Computer Society of India, Rotarian at St Ives (President and Paul Harris Fellow), discovery volunteer at New South Wales Parks and Wildlife and a previous TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Mentor.

Linda R. Wilbanks(Linda.wilbanks@navy.mil) serves as Command Information Officer at the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service, where she is responsible for all aspects of information technology at 144 locations worldwide, supporting law enforcement and the US Department of the Navy. Prior to this position she served as Chief Information Officer for the National Nuclear Security Administration within the US Department of Energy and for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. With over 35 years of experience in information technology, she continues to serve on educational committees at several universities, and contributes as an Associate Editor and Author for the IEEE journal IT Professional. Dr Wilbanks earned her PhD from the University of Maryland Baltimore with research in software engineering.


I am delighted to seeHarnessing Green ITby Murugesan and Gangadharan. Sustainability is growing in significance on a global scale. It attracts political attention, public notice, marketing interest, investment, innovation, technology development and more. The IT industry is facing increased scrutiny due to IT products’ and services’ impact on sustain-ability throughout their life cycle. Mitigating the risks and exploiting the opportunities that green IT offers require a holistic and strategic approach with sound principles and best practices. Business leaders, policy makers, IT professionals, researchers, students and the general public need practical and useful guidance on how to harness green IT.

Unfortunately, there have been relatively few practical and useful books on green IT. Murugesan and Gangadharan bring to this book accomplished experts from industry and academia who have hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge in specific areas of green IT. Their connections and involvement with business leaders, researchers, IT pro-fessionals and IT consumers add a tremendous amount of real-world insight and relevance. Their personal experiences as both practitioners and researchers are also clear throughout the book.

One of the most impressive aspects of this book is its holistic perspective towards greening IT. Modern IT systems rely upon a complicated mix of people, processes and products. Holistically, this book outlines how green-conscious people adopt green pro-cesses to produce or consume green products and services. Specifically, the first part of this book details how green IT can be achieved in and by hardware, software, net-work communication and data centre operations. The second part of this book discusses the strategies, frameworks, processes and management of greening IT initiatives. The third part of this book highlights innovation to enable greater efficiency of IT products and services.


key role in harnessing green IT. With this book, many IT leaders and professionals will get to learn the extensive and keen insights of Murugesan, Gangadharan and other experts on sound principles and best practices that make tomorrow’s IT greener and sustainable. Whether you are a provider or consumer of IT products and services, arm yourself with the principles and practices required to make the right green IT decisions to create a sustainable society embracing IT power that benefits our current and future generations. This book is an excellent resource for the necessary knowledge and tools to achieve that goal.

Ultimately, this is a remarkable book, a practical testimonial and a comprehensive bibliography rolled into one. It is a single, bright sword that cuts across the various murky green IT topics. And if the mistakes and lessons that I learned through my green IT journey are any indication, this book will be used every day by folks interested in greening IT. I congratulate Murugesan and Gangadharan on this excellent book that provides an invaluable resource. I enjoyed reading the book and found it exceptionally practical and extremely useful. I think you will, too. Enjoy!


Though some disagreement still surrounds the scientific, political and social aspects of global warming, there is growing acceptance regarding the dangerous consequences of not taking action now to address this and other environmental problems. Climate change is a reality, and its main cause is manmade greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most notably carbon dioxide (CO2). Tackling environmental issues and adopting environmen-tally responsible practices comprise a new important agenda for enterprises, governments and society at large. And, several other factors including the soaring cost of energy, envi-ronmental legislations and regulations, the rising cost of waste disposal, an electric energy shortage and corporate image and public perception concerns are pushing enterprises and individuals to go green.

As part of this global agenda of growing significance, we are called upon to make our information technology (IT) systems and work practices greener and to harness the power of IT to address environmental problems facing us. So chief information officers (CIOs), IT managers, IT professionals and businesses and individuals that use IT as well as government agencies seek answers to questions such as: What are the key environ-mental impacts arising from IT? What are the major environenviron-mental IT issues that we must address? How can we make our IT infrastructure, products, services, operations, applications and practices environmentally responsible? How do we measure and com-pare the effectiveness of our green efforts? What are the regulations or standards with which we need to comply? What benefits can an organization gain by adopting greener IT practices? How can IT assist businesses and society at large in their efforts to improve our environmental sustainability?

Green IT refers to environmentally sound information technologies and systems, applications and practices and encompasses three complementary IT-enabled approaches to improving environmental sustainability: (i) minimize the energy consumption and environmental impacts of computing resources – hardware, software and communication systems – over their life cycle; (ii) harness the power of IT and information systems (IS) to empower – that is, to support, assist and leverage – other environmental initiatives by businesses and (iii) leverage IT to help create awareness among stakeholders and promote a green agenda and green initiatives. Green IT is an economic as well as environmental imperative. And, as many green advocates will attest, it is our social responsibility.


applications and services. A few universities and training institutes have taken the lead and offer courses on green IT, and others are expected to follow suit. To help create a more sustainable environment, stakeholders need informed understanding of green IT and its promises. But a disparity exists among companies, as well as IT professionals, students and users, in their level of green IT understanding. Many of them do not know how or where to begin when it comes to implementing green IT.

Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practicesis aimed at helping those in the IT field gain an informed and holistic understanding of green IT, its potential and its adoption.

About the Book

In this book, we comprehensively discuss what green IT is, how IT can be made greener and how IT can help improve environmental sustainability. The book covers a wide range of topics: green technologies, design, standards, maturity models, strategies and adoption methodologies. To help readers explore this new discipline further and keep abreast of ongoing developments, we also provide, for each chapter, a list of additional information resources. The topics and coverage are well aligned with current technology and market trends and with the green movement which is gaining greater awareness and significance. This book is intended for anyone interested in understanding the principles and practices of green IT and in adopting or deploying green IT in their areas of interest. The book assumes no prior knowledge in this area, and presents in-depth comprehensive coverage. It will be of interest and value to IT professionals, students, academics, researchers, executives and policy makers. It will help them to get better informed about the promise of green IT and create a sustainable environment embracing the power of IT that benefits our current and future generations.

The book features 18 chapters written by green IT experts drawn from academia and industry. The chapters can be read in sequence or the reader, after getting an overview of green IT in Chapter 1, can jump to a selected chapter or chapters of interest. Each chapter also presents a set of review and discussion questions that helps the readers to further examine and explore the green IT domain. The book also features a glossary and a companion Web site at wiley.com. For instructors adopting this book for courses, supplementary PowerPoint presentation material is available (contact the publisher’s rep-resentative in your area).

Chapter Preview

Chapter 1 introduces the concept of green IT, illustrating the principles and practices of ITby greening and ITforgreening. It examines the environmental impacts of IT, outlines a definition of green IT and delineates the notion of green IT 1.0 and 2.0. It presents a holistic approach to greening IT and briefly outlines how data centres, cloud computing, storage systems, software and networks can be made greener. It also highlights how IT could help businesses’ environmental initiatives and reduce their carbon emissions, and thus sets the backdrop for the remaining chapters.


energy-efficient power converters, the use of multicore processors, newer types of displays and the use of less toxic materials. Chapter 3 discusses how you can make software greener and energy efficient, and focuses on ways, methods and options by which software can be made greener. As a continuation, Chapter 4 discusses how software characteristics impact the sustainability or greenness of computing applications, and outlines the notion of sustainable software engineering.

Key sustainability challenges associated with data centres and strategies to minimize data centres’ energy consumption and carbon footprint are discussed in Chapter 5, which describes a holistic approach to IT and facilities energy management in a data centre. Chapter 6 presents comprehensive coverage of energy-efficient storage technologies and data storage systems. Computer networks and communications can also be made greener. Chapter 7 examines the need for making computer networks and communications energy efficient, and describes emerging greener network protocols and related ongoing devel-opments.

To realize fuller benefits, business goals and green strategies for carbon reduction need to be aligned more closely. Chapter 8 emphasizes the need for this alignment and describes the crucial steps and considerations in developing green IT strategies. Chapter 9 examines the information requirements at multiple levels including the organization, business func-tion, product and service and individual levels, and discusses sustainability frameworks, principles and tools. It also presents a model for assessing an organization’s sustainability capability. Chapter 10 proposes a green IT readiness (G-readiness) framework to display the input, transformational and output capabilities of greening IT, offers a series of propo-sitions linking the G-readiness dimensions and shows the framework’s utility by drawing on data collected in Australia, the United States and New Zealand.

IT is a key enabler, and can be a primary driver, of an overall corporate sustain-ability strategy. Chapter 11 discusses sustainable IT services, applications that provide innovative solutions for corporate ecological and societal issues. It also examines the dimensions of sustainable IT services and their value from different stakeholder perspec-tives, and outlines the criteria for improving the alignment between these services and a sustainability strategy. Chapter 12 highlights the need for the entire enterprise (or as many of its units as possible) to go greener and presents an overview of various green initiatives within and between organizations. It also discusses the role of IT and IS in greening enterprises.

The needs to address and reengineer business processes from an environmental per-spective and to make business and physical processes greener are outlined in Chapter 13. Chapter 14 elicits management’s role as well as managerial and implementation issues in greening IT and one’s enterprise. It also discusses the life cycle of green IT initiatives and illustrates it with a case study. Chapter 15 delineates the mix of regulatory, nonreg-ulatory and other influences affecting business and the IT industry to make them more environmentally sustainable. It describes the global regulations governing green IT and discusses the scope of emerging green IT regulations and public policy.


technologies and concepts could be applied for collecting and sharing information, and describes an ecosystem of tools, based on Semantic MediaWiki, that enable greater efficiency of data use.

Chapter 18, the concluding chapter, examines how some emerging technologies support green IT initiatives, explores opportunities and challenges in green IT and emerging trends and identifies research directions.

We believe this book, covering a range of key topics and solutions in green IT, would be helpful to a spectrum of readers who wish to gain an informed understanding of the promise and potential of green IT and create a sustainable environment that harnesses the power of IT to benefit current and future generations. You can start making a difference by taking the steps and measures outlined in the book. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. Now, we’re delighted to pass on the book to you. We welcome your comments on the book and suggestions at greenITbook@gmail.com.

For more information, please visit the companion website – www.wiley.com/go/murugesan_green


Publication of this book wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution, support and cooperation of several people. We would like to acknowledge them.

We would like to thank each one of the chapter authors for enthusiastically contributing to the book, and thereby sharing their expertise, experiences and insights with the readers. We gratefully acknowledge their support and cooperation. We also extend our gratitude to the reviewers who have provided valuable comments on the book chapters.

We profusely thank Simon Liu, Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Computer Society’s IT Professional magazine, for writing a foreword to this book.

The editorial team at Wiley deserves our commendation for their key roles in publishing this volume and in ensuring its quality. In particular, we would like to thank Anna Smart, Susan Barclay and Mariam Cheok for their excellent enthusiasm, support and cooperation. We would like to thank Cheryl Adam, our copy editor, and Lavanya and her team at Laserwords in India, our typesetter, for their excellent work on this book.

Finally, we would like to thank our family members for their encouragement, support and cooperation which enabled us to make this venture a reality.



Green IT: An Overview

San Murugesan


and G.R. Gangadharan


1BRITE Professional Services and University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia

2Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad, India

Key Points

• Explains what green IT is and examines the significance of green IT.

• Discusses environmental concerns, global warming and the principles of sustainable development.

• Examines the environmental impacts of IT.

• Describes the three key dimensions of green IT and explains green IT 1.0 and 2.0. • Presents a holistic approach to greening IT.

• Discusses how data centres, cloud computing, storage systems, software and networks can be made greener.

• Highlights how IT could help businesses in their environmental initiatives and reduce their carbon emissions.

• Outlines enterprise green IT strategy.



Enterprises, governments and societies at large have a new important agenda: tackling environmental issues and adopting environmentally sound practices. Over the years, infor-mation technology (IT) has fundamentally altered our work and life and improved our productivity, economy and social well-being. IT now has a new role to play – helping to create a greener, more sustainable environment whilst offering economic benefits. But IT has been contributing to environmental problems which most people do not realize. Computers and other IT infrastructure consume significant amounts of electricity, which is increasing day by day, placing a heavy burden on our electric grids and contributing to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, IT hardware poses environmental prob-lems during both its production and its disposal.


Whilst many people consider IT to be part of the problem to environmental pollution, it can be its saviour too. In other words, IT is both a solution and a problem for environmen-tal sustainability. We can exploit the power of IT in innovative ways to address mounting environmental issues (Aronson, 2008; Ruth, 2009) and make our IT systems – and their use – greener. Green IT, also known as green computing, is the study and practice of designing, manufacturing and using computers, servers, monitors, printers, storage devices and networking and communications systems efficiently and effectively, with zero or min-imal impact on the environment (Murugesan, 2007, 2008). Green IT is also about using IT to support, assist and leverage other environmental initiatives and to help create green awareness (Murugesan, 2008). Thus, green IT encompasses hardware, software, tools, strategies and practices that improve and foster environmental sustainability.

Green IT benefits the environment by improving energy efficiency, lowering GHG emissions, using less harmful materials and encouraging reuse and recycling. Thus green IT includes the dimensions of environmental sustainability, the economics of energy effi-ciency and the total cost of ownership, which includes the cost of disposal and recycling. Increased awareness of the harmful effects of GHG emissions, new stringent environmen-tal legislation, concerns about electronic waste disposal practices and corporate image concerns are driving businesses and individuals to go green.

Green IT is an economic as well as environmental imperative. And, as many green advo-cates will attest, it is our social responsibility as well (Murugesan, 2007). The imminent introduction of more green taxes and regulations will trigger a major increase in demand for green IT products, solutions and services. Hence a growing number of IT vendors and users have begun to develop and offer green IT products and services. As business and governments try to balance growth with environmental risks, we will be legally, ethically and/or socially required to ‘green’ our IT products, applications, services and practices.

To foster green IT, we should understand the following issues: What are the key envi-ronmental impacts arising from IT? What are the major envienvi-ronmental IT issues that we must address? How can we make our IT infrastructure, products, services, operations, applications and practices environmentally sound? What are the regulations or standards with which we need to comply? How can IT assist businesses and society at large in their efforts to improve our environmental sustainability?

Beginning with a brief account of IT’s environmental impact, this chapter outlines what green IT means and presents a holistic approach to greening IT. It also highlights how IT can help in different ways to improve our environmental sustainability, and outlines a green IT strategy for enterprises.


Environmental Concerns and Sustainable Development

Numerous scientific studies and reports offer evidence of climate change and its potential harmful effects. Specifically, the growing accumulation of GHGs is changing the world’s climate and weather patterns, creating droughts in some countries and floods in others and pushing global temperatures slowly higher, posing serious worldwide problems. Global data show that storms, droughts and other weather-related disasters are growing more severe and frequent.


2012). Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human induced. In common usage, however, global warming often refers to warming that can occur due to increased GHG emissions from human activities which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect. GHGs comprise a range of different elements, and the common characteristics of them are that they can absorb thermal infrared radiation (heat) which is emitted from the Earth, and then re-emit it, increasing the Earth’s temperature. The most significant constituents of GHG are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases. Electricity is a major source of GHGs as it is generated by burning coal or oil, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Reducing electric power consumption is a key to reducing CO2 emissions and their impacts on our environment and global warming. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol mandates reducing carbon emissions. The Protocol requires computer manufacturers to undertake energy audits to calculate the electricity used by devices over their lifetime and determine the quantum of CO2 emissions to take remedial action. In order to stop the accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere, global emissions would have to stop growing and be reduced by an astonishing 60% from today’s levels by 2050 (Lash and Wellington, 2007).

1.2.1 The Inconvenient Truth

Climate change presents a new kind of risk; its impact is global and long term, and the damage it causes is essentially irreversible. The imminent dangers of climate change and the state of global warming are highlighted by former US Vice President and environment activist Al Gore in the Oscar-winning documentary filmAn Inconvenient Truth and the book An Inconvenient Truth (Gore, 2006). Sir Nicholas Stern, in his landmark report, discussed the economics of global warming and warned, ‘It was not action, but inaction, on climate change that would devastate global economies’ (Stern, 2007).

Not everyone agrees, however, with these predictions regarding global warming and its impacts. For instance, controversies exist concerning the causes of global warming, whether this warming trend is unprecedented or within normal climatic variations, predic-tions of additional warming, what the consequences are and what acpredic-tions should be taken. These controversies are scientific, political and/or social in nature (for a good overview of these, see Wikipedia’s article on ‘Global Warming Controversy’). Environmental groups, numerous governmental reports and many in the media are, however, in agreement with the scientific community in support of human-caused warming. Several scientific societies and academies of science, including all major countries’ national academies of science, endorse that global warming is mainly caused by human activity and will continue if GHG emissions are not reduced.


progress, and there is need for multipronged action. The highlighted awareness drives us to ask: What can, and should, IT do in creating a greener, sustainable environment? What can each of us – those in business and industry or in IT departments, CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, IT professionals and employees – do individually and collectively to stop global warming and create a sustainable environment?

1.2.2 Sustainable Development

Sustainability is all about meeting needs and seeking a balance between people, the envi-ronment and the economy. According to the United Nations Global Commission on the Environment and Development’s 1987 Brundtland Report, sustainable development is the ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the abil-ity of future generations to meet their own needs’. Sustainable development comprises economic, environmental and social dimensions.

1.2.3 Why Should You Go Green?

Enterprises are now increasingly interested in creating strategies that will help them to handle environmental issues and pursue new opportunities. The reasons for going green are manifold: increasing energy consumption and energy prices, growing consumer inter-est in environmentally friendly goods and services, higher expectations by the public on enterprises’ environmental responsibilities and emerging stricter regulatory and compli-ance requirements. Enterprise will increasingly feel the effects of environmental issues that impact their competitive landscape in ways not envisaged earlier. For instance, investors have started discounting the share prices of companies that poorly address the environ-mental problems they create. When making purchasing, leasing or outsourcing decisions, many customers now take into consideration the company’s environmental records and initiatives. Investors are increasingly placing their money on initiatives that are green or that develop and promote green products and services. Government agencies, investors and the public are demanding more disclosures from companies regarding their carbon footprint and their environmental initiatives and achievements. Companies with the tech-nology and vision to provide products and services that address environmental issues will enjoy a competitive edge (Lash and Wellington, 2007).


Environmental Impacts of IT

As mentioned in this chapter, IT affects our environment in several different ways. Each stage of a computer’s life, from its production, through its use and to its disposal, presents environmental problems. Manufacturing computers and their various electronic and non-electronic components consume electricity, raw materials, chemicals and water, and generate hazardous waste. All these directly or indirectly increase carbon dioxide emissions and impact the environment.


like coal, oil and gas. For instance, each PC in use generates about a ton of carbon dioxide every year. Computer components contain toxic materials. Increasingly, con-sumers discard a large number of old computers, monitors and other electronic equipment 2–3 years after purchase, and most of this ends up in landfills, polluting the Earth and contaminating water.

The increased number of computers and their use, along with their frequent replace-ments, make IT’s environmental impact a major concern. Consequently, there is increasing pressure on the IT industry, businesses and individuals to make IT environmentally friendly throughout its life cycle, from birth to death to rebirth. As many believe, it’s our social and corporate responsibility to safeguard our environment.


Green IT

IT now has a new role to play in creating a greener, more sustainable environment, whilst offering economic benefits by becoming greener.

Green IT is an umbrella term referring to environmentally sound information tech-nologies and systems, applications and practices. It encompasses three complementary IT-enabled approaches to improving environmental sustainability (Murugesan, 2008) (see Figure 1.1):

1. the efficient and effective design, manufacture, use and disposal of computer hardware, software and communication systems with no or minimal impact on the environment; 2. the use of IT and information systems to empower – that is, support, assist and

leverage – other enterprise-wide environmental initiatives and

3. the harnessing of IT to help create awareness among stakeholders and promote the green agenda and green initiatives.

Green IT is not just about creating energy-efficient IT systems (hardware, software and applications), though this is an important component, especially as the use of IT proliferates. Green IT is also about the application of IT to create energy-efficient, envi-ronmentally sustainable business processes and practices, transportation and buildings. IT can support, assist and leverage environmental initiatives in several areas and also help create green awareness. IT contributes to only about 2–3% of GHG emissions. The vast majority of emissions come from non-IT sources. So, broader applications of IT in

Greening IT systems and usage

Green IT

Using IT to support environmental


Using IT to create green awareness


other areas of the economy could bring significant energy savings and improve overall environmental sustainability. According to the SMART 2020 report, IT’s largest influence will be by enabling energy efficiencies in other sectors, an opportunity that could deliver carbon savings five times larger than the total emissions from the entire information and computer technology (ICT) sector in 2020. IT can help organizations to minimize their environmental impacts in areas such as GHG emissions, toxic contamination and energy and water consumption.

1.4.1 OCED Green IT Framework

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has proposed a green IT framework consisting of three analytical levels (OCED, 2010) (Figure 1.2). Its objectives are similar to the ‘Green IT Dimensions’ described in this chapter:

1. Direct impacts of IT:These are IT’s first-order effects on the environment and include both positive and negative impacts due to the physical existence of IT goods and services and related processes. The sources of IT’s direct environmental impacts are IT manufacturing and services firms, including intermediaries and goods producer


Figure 1.3Holistic, multipronged approach to greening IT.
Figure 1.5Drivers of environmental sustainability and green IT.
Table 2.1Summary of hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing of electronic devices
Figure 3.1Breakdown of power usage on a notebook PC.


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