Sustainability and environmental compatibility are now of great importance to the majority of companies and public institutions. According to the IDC study “Greening of and by IT” from spring 2022, 38 percent of organizations in Germany are already pursuing a strategic approach to comprehensively anchor sustainability in strategies, processes and products. Another 56 percent of those surveyed also want more sustainability, but still rely on a selective approach. For both groups, IT plays an important role in optimizing environmental sustainability in two ways:
Facts and figures on the sustainability of IT environments
Power requirements of data centers and IT environments: If the boom in this area continues, the power requirement of data centers and smaller IT installations in Germany will be around 35 billion kWh/a in 2035 – twice as high as in 2022. This is a result of the study “Data centers in Germany” by Borderstep institute and the digital association Bitkom. According to the study, with measures that consistently optimize the efficiency of the IT infrastructure and software, the increase could be limited to around 23 billion kWh/a by 2035. This is urgently required, also because the demand for electricity will increase drastically as a result of developments such as electromobility.
Life cycle of mobile computers and smartphones: Two thirds of German companies dispose of mobile phones, notebooks and tablets prematurely, although this is actually not necessary, for example for technical reasons. This is confirmed by a study commissioned by Soti in spring 2022, a provider of solutions for the management of mobile and IoT end devices. Around 41 percent of companies exchange notebooks and tablets as soon as a new model comes onto the market. One reason for doing this: companies want to increase employee motivation and position themselves as attractive employers. However, this approach increases the resource requirements considerably.
Environmental impact from system parameters and applications: According to an analysis of 3.5 million PCs and notebooks by Nexthink, including 1.4 million older systems, 34 percent of the machines take more than five minutes to boot. Typical causes are incorrect configuration settings and insufficient RAM. This costs electricity unnecessarily and corresponds to around 450 tons of CO₂ per year. Superfluous gaming and streaming apps on the computers also produce 700 tons of CO₂ per week.
Recycling of electrical and electronic systems: According to Eurostat, around 14 percent of the electronic and electrical equipment collected and recycled in the European Union in 2019 was in the IT and telecommunications sectors. Manufacturers, dealers and local authorities should collect 65 percent of electrical and electronic equipment that is no longer usable. The EU set this goal in 2019. Almost all EU member states are far away from this, including Germany with a collection rate of around 45 percent.
Dark data and irrelevant information: Two thirds of the data that German companies store is dark data – information whose business value has not been determined, but which nevertheless occupies storage resources and increases power consumption and wear and tear on servers. This is confirmed by the “Databerg” study by the data management company Veritas. In addition, there is another 19 percent redundant and obsolete data. For this reason, intelligent data management can help to reduce the inventory of irrelevant data and increase the environmental compatibility of storage systems and data centers.
“As part of our work, we witness every day the speed with which companies are developing their attitude towards sustainability and climate protection,” reports Matthias Steybe, Group Sustainability Officer at CHG-Meridian, a provider of technology infrastructures. “We are experiencing a boom in sustainable IT usage models and a rapidly growing interest in our expertise in the circular economy.”
According to Steybe, companies must be aware that IT environments have an impact on the environment throughout their entire lifecycle: “The manufacture and logistics of IT hardware alone are responsible for a third of CO2 and other emissions. All of this makes it clear what potential for climate protection there is in a circular economy.”
Source: com! professional by www.com-magazin.de.
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