Great article from the McKinsey Quarterly on IT’s carbon footprint. As you will read, it’s not just in consolidation of server environments that are causing the problem but rather all around us. I think the biggest issue with implementing this isn’t the technology but a cultural problem.
Here is what the article had to say:
Computers, data storage, and communications devices are propelling a rapid rise in greenhouse gas emissions. By 2020, McKinsey research suggests, the manufacture, distribution, and use of such equipment (including laptops, PCs, and mobile phones) will generate 3 percent of the world’s GHG emissions. Yet our research also shows that information and communications technologies might abate far more emissions than they produce. In fact, they could eliminate 7.8 metric gigatons of greenhouse gasses annually by 2020—five times what they emit—according to McKinsey’s four-sector analysis of the opportunities, such as telecommuting and optimizing energy productivity. The exhibit below shows the trade-off.