Green IT is an umbrella phrase, covering the sustainable, eco-friendly products, services, practices, and management systems used in the information and communications technology sector. Greater environmental awareness, coupled with pressures from consumers, legislators, and rising fuel costs, is pushing the IT community towards Green IT.
It is becoming progressively more important for all businesses to act (and be seen to act) in an environmentally responsible manner, both to fulfill their legal and moral obligations and to enhance their brand and improve their corporate image. IT has a large part to play in all this.
Warsaw and beyond
The 19th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP19/CMP9), held in Warsaw in November 2013, saw the continuing attempt to negotiate a global climate agreement. Apart from the so-called Warsaw Mechanism, which aims to see richer countries offer assistance to those poorer countries that are disproportionately affected by climate change, little actual progress was made as delegates with differing agendas were unable to reach agreement. (Indeed, a number of charities, including ActionAid, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam, and WWF walked out of the conference on its last day.)
The UNCCC meets again in Lima, Peru in 2014. Until then, the need to address this emotive and contentious subject persists, even if an international consensus can’t be reached, and the need for environmentally-friendly policies will only continue. The United States reduced its CO2 emissions in 2012 by 11.8% compared to 2005 (the largest reduction of any country). Green IT's role in improving IT cost-effectiveness, while reducing organizations’ carbon footprints, will only get stronger in the years to come.
Make sure you and your IT department are prepared for these impacts. Use the following resources to help you understand why and how to make your IT "Green."
ISO14001:2004 specifies the requirements for an environmental management system (EMS), which provides a framework for an organization to control the environmental impacts of its activities, products and services, and to continually improve its environmental performance. This international standard applies to those environmental aspects that the organization can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence.
ISO 14001 - 2015 EMS Documentation Toolkit
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