Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Curry E.;Donnellan B.
2014 January
Computing Handbook, Third Edition: Information Systems and Information Technology
Sustainable IT
Optional Fields
© 2014 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Sustainable IT is the design, production, operation, and disposal of IT and IT-enabled products and services in a manner that is not harmful and may be positively beneficial to the environment during the course of its whole-of-life [1]. Sustainable IT requires the responsible management of resources (both IT and non-IT) encompassing environmental, economic, and social dimensions. The first wave of sustainable IT, Greening of IT, aims to reduce the 2% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for which information technology (IT) is responsible [2], by reducing the footprint of IT thought actions such as improving the energy efficiency of hardware (processors and disk drives) and reducing waste from obsolete hardware. The second wave of sustainable IT, Greening by IT, also called Green IT 2.0 [3], is shifting the focus toward reducing the remaining 98%, as illustrated in Figure 50.1, by focusing on the innovative use of IT in business processes to deliver positive sustainability benefits beyond the direct footprint of IT, such as monitoring a firm’s emissions and waste to manage them more efficiently. The potential of Greening by IT to reduce GHG emissions has been estimated at approximately 7.8 Gt CO2 of savings in 2020, representing a 15% emission cut in 2020 and 600 billion ($946.5 billion) of cost savings [2]. It is estimated that the use of IT for greening will play a key role in the delivery of benefits that can alleviate at least five times the GHG footprint of IT itself [4].
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