Green awareness low but rising in Asia

More needs to be done to push the eco-friendly tech message, and Asian governments will most likely be the ones to take the leading role, a new study shows.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Green IT awareness is low, but rising, and governments in the Asia-Pacific region will be the primary drivers of future eco-friendly initiatives, reveals a new market report.

The results of the latest study by Springboard Research found a low level of awareness for green IT amongst Asia's computer users.

"So far, many users in Asia see green IT as just another additional cost, and they still need to be educated on how it can benefit their organization," said Anu Singh, a senior market analyst at Springboard, in a statement.

Bob Hayward, Springboard research vice president, added: "Computing devices have a very large and very unrecognized carbon footprint--for example, an average-sized server has the same carbon footprint as a mid-sized sports utility vehicle getting 15 miles-to-the-gallon."

Although Springboard also partly attributed the low level of awareness to the lack of efforts by vendors to promote eco-friendly technology, the research house recognized a growing push.

The report noted the IT vendors' increasing efforts to promote green IT from an altruistic and branding perspective, as well as to improve their bottom line.

Springboard said that vendors are allocating the largest amount of green IT spending to increasing the energy efficiency of their products, followed by recycling and disposal, and in third place, manufacturing in a more environmentally friendly way.

The research house predicts that over the next three to five years, Asian governments--led by initiatives from the European Union (EU)--will be the "leading green IT adopters within their own IT operations, and help spark broader green IT investments across other enterprises".

Although this was in reference to the more advanced economies such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, Springboard also sees an increase in green IT efforts in the emerging markets.

Hayward noted: "[Emerging markets] are putting more infrastructure in place, with much of the new IT infrastructure having the potential to leverage greener technologies, such as lower power consumption."

Springboard said that large enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region are the biggest users of electricity that goes into computing.

The research house estimates the consumption of Asian large enterprises to be 37 percent of electricity used for computing, while consumer IT accounts for 34 percent, and the segment comprising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small office/home offices (SOHOs) at 29 percent.

According to the report, US$5 billion is spent each year on powering computers in the region, with over 66 percent of this spending directed towards systems that are in idle mode.

Editorial standards