Isys 100 Research Paper

Topics: Sustainability, Environmentalism, Environment Pages: 6 (2116 words) Published: June 3, 2013
ISYS100 Green IT Research Paper

3) When you hear the term “making IT eco-friendly”, explain how this is related to Information Technology and the environment.

In today’s society, information technology has developed to become an essential component of business processes within various industries and has irrevocably transformed the way businesses work by providing more productive, efficient and a more powerful means of producing resources. However, it has contributed to the world’s environmental challenges and caused detrimental effects on the environment via the pollution elicited by manufacturing, wasteful disposal of computers and components as well as the toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing process which can enter the food chain and contaminate water (Green IT, 2012). Therefore, in recent times, due to global warming and as awareness of environmental dangers have become widespread, there has been increased importance surrounding ‘making IT eco friendly’ or alternatively, the widely popular term, ‘green IT’. Green IT correlates with information technology and the environment as according to Murugesan (2010), it relates to the study and practice of the design, manufacture and use of more efficient and effective computer hardware, software and communication systems in order to help alleviate the carbon footprint and various negative impacts of information technology usage on the environment. The subject of ‘green IT’ has become a somewhat contentious issue, with the question being raised on whether the phenomenon is just hype or reality. A short video conducted by information technology media group, CIO interviewing numerous IT leaders showed the majority of them believed it was indeed happening today. Furthermore, in 2008, green IT was the top strategic technology for the year as stated by Gartner (Brodkin, 2008). Green (2008) states that corporations including some of the world’s largest consumer and technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Nokia have made it a socially responsible priority to embrace the concept of ‘making IT eco-friendly’ and have adopted a variety of conservational practices linked to three key areas of green IT that are crucial in helping protect our fragile and easily unbalanced ecosystem. These three key areas of green IT are: using computing resources more efficiently and effectively, electronic waste disposal and the optimization of technology to assist in solving sustainability requirements, aid and influence other ecological initiatives and create greater environmental awareness (Harmon & Auseklis, 2009).

The efficient use of energy is vitally important for the environment as the total electrical energy consumption of data centres, servers and computers worldwide is progressively rising, resulting in even greater greenhouse gas emissions as the majority of the electricity is generated by burning coal, oil, or gas (Murugesan, 2010). Annually, a regular desktop computer uses 868 kW of electricity and with virtually every company in the developed world having some kind of computer and with scores of companies having thousands of them, the overall amount of carbon emissions emanating into the earth’s atmosphere is astounding (Green IT, 2012). Green (2008) asserts that as consumers increasingly desire more energy-efficient products and want to avoid companies associated with environmentally damaging practices or products, the opportunity presents itself for companies to be more proactive about their ecological stance. One well known corporation making the necessary strides to reduce their business’ impact on global warming is Hewlett Packard (HP), the biggest technology company in the world. HP has been pushing hard to make their operations, data centres, and products more energy-efficient and is consistently highly regarded as an eco-friendly technology company having topped Greenpeace’s 2012 Guide to Greener Electronics (Please refer to...
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