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)
ICT GHG Emissions: Est. 2%

Emissions from other sources: Est. 98%

*Figures are estimates of annual global emission.*


At NC State, information and communication technologies (ICT) may account for about 20% of the campus electricity-related GHG emissions.

The Hillsborough Building and Admin III are the largest consumers of electricity on campus (data center locations)!

Tech savvy and Green savvy – You can be both!

Average office desktop computer & LCD monitor =
100 watts
If running 10 hours (1 kWh) at NC State = $.076 e. bill
~1.2 pounds CO2
Annually, if busy 8 hours per workday, power management =
(Note: More than twice these numbers if never turned off
and power management disabled)
~$63.30 e. bill
~208.5 kWh
~252 pounds CO2
NC State owns and operates more than
15,000 office computers =

(This does not include student computers,
data centers, data network, telecom, printers, etc.)~$949,500 e. bill
~3,127,000 kWh
~3,752,400 lbs. CO2
~1,702.06 MTe CO2 (Estimates based on EU Energy Star Energy Calculator,
EPA Energy Profiler

On the other hand, carbon reductions are enabled by ICT

  • 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 World Wildlife Fund’s ICT publications

“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?


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