Building a clean, green I.T. SECTOR

LETTERS: The environmental effects of the information technology (IT) sector cannot be neglected in an era where technical developments are at the forefront of global growth. The energy consumption of data centres and electronic devices is increasing in tandem with the demand for digital services and goods.

To address this issue, the idea of "Clean and Green IT" has arisen, stressing renewable and sustainable techniques to reduce the IT sector's environmental imprint.

Sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy are being used to lower the carbon footprint of IT infrastructure.

Google, for example, has pledged to use 100 per cent renewable energy, which it accomplished in 2017, not only in line with environmental sustainability but also as a model for other industry participants.

Companies can play a critical role in reducing climate change and fostering a better future by emphasising the use of sustainable energy.

Clean and Green IT extends beyond operational aspects to encompass the entire lifecycle of electronic devices. Sustainable manufacturing processes, emphasising the use of recycled materials and minimising waste are crucial in reducing the environmental impact of IT hardware.

Companies are increasingly adopting circular economy principles, designing products that are easy to repair, upgrade and recycle.

Apple, for instance, has committed to making its products from 100 per cent recycled or renewable materials to address resource scarcity and reduce the carbon footprint associated with the production of new devices.

While the adoption of Clean and Green IT practices is gaining momentum, challenges persist. The initial investment required for renewable energy infrastructure, resistance to change in traditional business models, and the complexity of implementing sustainable practices across global supply chains are among the hurdles faced by the industry.

However, the long-term benefits of Clean and Green IT far outweigh the challenges. Beyond environmental stewardship, companies embracing sustainable practices often experience improved operational efficiency, cost savings and enhanced brand reputation. As technological advancements continue, the integration of innovative solutions and the collective commitment of the IT industry are essential for a sustainable and greener future.

Clean and Green IT represents a paradigm shift in the way the IT sector approaches environmental responsibility. By prioritising renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, adopting sustainable manufacturing practices and managing electronic waste responsibly, the IT industry can mitigate its impact on the environment.

As consumers become increasingly environmentally conscious, the demand for Clean and Green IT solutions is likely to grow. Embracing these practices is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic move that positions companies at the forefront of a sustainable and resilient future.

Through collaboration, innovation and a commitment to responsible business practices, the IT industry can lead the way in building a cleaner and greener world.


Professor, College of Computing and Informatics, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten)

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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