The global IT industry is becoming greener

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The Independent Online

Two percent of the world's carbon emissions are produced by the IT industry; however, a new report estimates that by 2015, €31.1billion ($41.4billion) will have been invested in green IT centers. Consumers can also reduce the carbon footprint of information technology by choosing environmentally friendly products.

The IT industry, which accounts for around 2 percent of the world's carbon emissions, is becoming greener according to an August 5 report from clean technology group, Pike Research.  

Data centers, which are the fastest growing contributor to the IT industry's footprint, are expected to receive massive investment in order to make them greener. Pike Research estimates that investment in greener data centers will reach €31.1billion ($41.4 billion) by 2015 as the benefits of greener businesses become more visible to CEOs.

It is expected that investment in cooling and infrastructure solutions will be the largest portion of the green data center market opportunity, accounting for 46 percent of total revenue over the next five years. However energy efficient IT equipment will make up the second largest market sector at 41 percent.  

Energy efficient IT equipment is becoming increasingly available to the public as well as private companies. A joint program of product regulation between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The US Department of Energy, known as Energy Star, regulates and rates energy efficient products. The Energy Star program estimates that in 2009, Americans, through purchasing Energy Star products, saved enough power to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 30 million cars.

The European Union provides a list of household and office IT equipment which has Energy Star certification. Through the EU website consumers can select the type of IT equipment they require, notebook computers, desktop computers or games consoles for example, and then select the model they require, for example by Apple; the website will then bring up a list of Energy Star products which correspond to the search.

The United States Energy Star website also provides a similar service to domestic consumers, as do its partner sites in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan.

The list of global Energy Star product websites can be found below:

America: www.energystar.gov

European Union: www.eu-energystar.org

Australia: www.energystar.gov.au/

Canada: http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/

Japan: www.eccj.or.jp/ene-star/index_esu.html

New Zealand: www.eeca.govt.nz/standards-and-ratings/energy-star

Taiwan: www.energystar.org.tw/

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