Green IT for IT Professionals at NC State

“Green IT is an oxymoron, until you consider the use of IT to ‘green’ business and society.”

~Simon Mingay, Gartner Research

Outline for the First Global IT Strategy for CO2 Reductions (PDF)

Estimates of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from:

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): 2%
  • Other sources: 98%

Estimates of NC State campus electricity-related GHG emissions from:

  • ICT: 20%
    The Hillsborough Building and Admin III (data center locations) are the largest consumers of electricity on campus!
  • Other sources: 80%

Tech savvy and Green savvy – You can be both!

For an average NC State office desktop computer with LCD monitor (100 watts) . . . Cost and Emissions are . . .
One desktop running for 10 hours . . . ~$.076 electric bill
~1 kWh
~1.2 lbs. CO2
Annually, one desktop running
for 8 hours per workday and using power management . . .
(NOTE: If never turned off and with power management disabled, then
these numbers would be more than doubled.)
~$63.30 electric bill
~208.5 kWh
~252 lbs. CO2
Annually, all of NC State’s more than15,000 office computers running
as noted above . . .
(NOTE: This does NOT include student computers, data centers, data network, telecom, printers, etc.)
~$949,500 electric bill
~3,127,000 kWh
~3,752,400 lbs. CO2
(~1,702.06 MTe CO2)

Above estimates are based on EU Energy Star Energy Calculator and EPA Energy Profiler.

On the other hand, ICT enables carbon reductions

  • Virtual travel, global communication
  • Distance learning
  • Telework, virtual meetings
  • “Dematerialization” and e-business efficiencies
  • SMART buildings, SMART grid, energy management
  • Energy efficiency in Industry
  • Advanced R & D for low-carbon solutions

For more ideas, see the World Wildlife Fund’s Information and communication technologies (ICT).

“As a whole, ICT is best viewed as a catalyst that can speed up current negative trends, or alternatively contribute to a shift towards sustainable development . . . “

Why should we care?
(beyond concern about a sustainable future!)

For example:

Best Practices

  • Outreach & Education: Green IT Tips
  • In classrooms
  • In computer labs
  • In offices
  • In Data Centers and server rooms
  • Purchasing (EPEAT and Energy Star, packaging and waste reduction)
  • Reuse and e-cycling
  • Others?

“The most common ES initiatives under way in central IT are server consolidation and virtualization, centralization
of storage, recycling of e-waste, and minimizing growth in electrical energy use.”

EDUCAUSE: Powering Down: Green IT in Higher Education

Keeping track

Can we integrate energy and sustainability considerations into service planning and reporting?

  • Miles not traveled?
  • Pages not printed?
  • Energy saved?


Send your ideas and comments to

To subscribe, visit