Companies are using green IT strategies to reduce energy use and cut carbon emissions, according to new research from Deloitte.
The survey showed that 67 per cent of companies questioned had an IT programme in place to monitor environmental performance.
Rising energy prices and tightening regulations have forced the green agenda into the boardroom and companies are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
At two per cent, carbon emissions from the global IT sector are currently the same as those of the airline industry.
The energy requirements for a medium-sized UK data centre are roughly the same as those for a city the size of Leicester.
Andrew Winters, head of technology risk at Deloitte in Birmingham, said: “The energy consumption of IT equipment and data centre facilities has not historically been of primary concern for directors but this discussion is particularly relevant now as businesses will need to respond to likely regulatory changes in the near future.
“As a major consumer of electricity and producer of waste electronics the IT department should be one of the first business functions to be scrutinised and made to improve its efficiency.”
Deloitte’s Birmingham office has hosted a number of seminars and discussions on how to cut the energy consumption of IT equipment.
Planned legislation in the form of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, announced in the 2007 Energy White Paper, will legally oblige some companies to establish their strategies.
Some innovative examples of green IT strategies include Intel taking the heat its servers produce and redirecting it to warm the cafeteria water supply, and HSBC incorporating environmental standards into procurement criteria to ensure the equipment is energy efficient.