Going green for IT

According to research firm Gartner, by 2010 75 percent of organisations will use "full life cycle energy" and CO2 footprint as mandatory PC hardware buying criteria.

According to research firm Gartner, by 2010 75 percent of organisations will use "full life cycle energy" and CO2 footprint as mandatory PC hardware buying criteria.

This prediction was revealed in Gartner's latest Top 10 predictions for 2008 and beyond.

By 2011, Gartner's analysts say, suppliers to large global enterprises will need to prove their green credentials via an audited process to retain preferred supplier status.

While the benefits of technology are far-reaching, ICT companies must recognise they have a responsibility to reduce the amount of carbon emissions and energy requirements associated with their products.

Globally, the ICT industry generates 2 percent of the world's carbon emissions, with Australia's carbon emissions total 522.2 million tons per year. Of that, 7.94 million tons comes from ICT use by Australian businesses, according to an Australian Computer Society study.

Some technology providers have begun the process of life cycle assessments, and environmental impact will become a key product differentiator in the foreseeable future.

Meeting these challenges will require the cooperation of government, community and industry into the future, an approach which AIIA is already promoting through the Byteback recycling program.

An initiative of AIIA in partnership with Sustainability Victoria and leading ICT companies, Byteback is an Australian first that combines government, consumer and industry responsibilities in the recycling of computer waste. The program is currently being piloted in Victoria and will be progressively expanded in 2008.

Green credentials are no longer a niche concern for ethical companies; they are now becoming a financial imperative in the marketplace. In addition to the health of the environment, developing strong environmental credentials is now about the health of our industry -- and that is a good thing.