EC calls for IT help in the energy battle

The European Commission has said that it sees climate change as an issue which IT organisations and managers around the world should do their bit to tackle and it now has a plan to make a start on the issue.On Wednesday it publishing its plan for the first time and has started the call for interested parties to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

The European Commission has said that it sees climate change as an issue which IT organisations and managers around the world should do their bit to tackle and it now has a plan to make a start on the issue.

On Wednesday it publishing its plan for the first time and has started the call for interested parties to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

“Many data centres operators are simply not aware of the financial, environmental and infrastructure benefits to be gained from improving the energy efficiency of their facilities,” the Commission said in its discussion document, ‘Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency’.

The issue is wide ranging, the Commission points our, and “even awareness does not necessarily lead to good decision making, simply because there is no framework in place for the operators to aspire to”.

Most IT companies are at least aware of the need for energy efficiency but do not necessarily practice it or even fully understand it.

One of the big issues as the EC points out is that many organisations sacrifice energy efficiency in favour of greater reliability of systems. “In most cases only a small fraction of the grid power consumed by the data centre actually gets to the IT systems. Most enterprise data centres today run significant quantities of redundant power and cooling systems typically to provide higher levels of reliability.“

One of the first organisations to welcome the EC report was the British Computer Society in the UK.

"This is a vital step forward for the industry in encouraging IT management and data centre operators to focus on the appropriate issues for data centres,” said Bob Harvey, chair of the BCS carbon footprint group.

"The BCS believes that it is important to develop an effective understanding of IT energy use and the development of best practice to improve efficiency,” he said.

The EC will be seeking feedback from organisations throughout Europe and will then draw up a report with ideas for organisations to follow. The Code of Practice is more than just a talking shop. It sets out specific guidelines for companies to follow and that they must follow if they wish to become contributing members of the EC’s scheme.

“Data centre owners and operators can become Participants by committing to a subset of the commitments [required by the EC] with an indicative timeline for implementing and completing actions where appropriate, and regularly reporting the result achieved in order to guarantee the energy and environmental “

For details of the requirements visit the EC site which is linked to here.