Cebit 2008: Green and Cheap – Round Table Discussion in Hanover

Mar 03, 2008

Environmental protection and cost savings are not mutually exclusive. The hype topic Green IT was the subject of a press conference on Monday by CeBIT organizers Messe AG with representatives of various companies and a spokesperson for the global Climate Savers Initiative.

During its service life, a server consumes electricity worth as much as the server’s purchasing price; saving power not only cuts costs, it is also environmentally friendly – especially if you consider that the CO2 emission by the IT industry is about two percent and thus on a partition with CO2 emission caused by air traffic.

This is why this year’s CeBIT motto is Green IT.

Low-energy devices are one approach to greener IT. Their potential becomes apparent when you consider that about a billion people world wide use PCs, but only a few use efficient power management or avoid unnecessary standby operations.

Saving power is just one aspect. The WWF representative, Dr. Bernhard Bauske, pointed out that the next big challenge will be to consider a device’s total life cycle, from sourcing of raw materials and supplier’s operations, through production and production deployment, to disposal. Taking the ecological footprint into consideration, people would have to ask themselves if they really need to bin their cellphones every 18 months, or if a modular design and upgrades might help to improve environmental friendliness.

A Green IT Village at CeBIT demonstrates what offices and datacenters can achieve today. Virtualization releases enormous potential at the datacenter by consolidating up to ten servers on a single physical system. Each of the systems would consume US$ 700 to 800 worth of electricity a year. But modern office technology can drastically reduce power consumption. Even bigger savings can be made by avoiding business trips and using video conferencing. The CO2 footprint of a single transatlantic flight is equivalent to 80 teleconferencing sessions.

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