Why Sustainability Matters?
Robin wanted to make IT more user friendly and to promote an environmentally sustainable & ethical approach to business. His combined respect for the environment with his 20 years of experience in developing systems and his expertise in IT led him to start greneIT in 2017. Since starting his business, Robin often comes across comments like…
IT does not cause any harm to our environment!
It is clean, it does not emit smoke!
So why, sustainability in IT matters?
There is more to IT and most people are unaware of the processes behind the scenes! In the following paragraphs you will see how IT has a negative impact on our environment.
Emissions in technology
Every computing device (i.e. laptop, desktop, integrated PC, mobile, tablet) as well as our massive data centres and data transmission networks (i.e. broadband, adsl, 4g) need energy to power them. This energy comes primarily from electricity. Electricity can be generated from burning fossil fuels which in turn creates harmful emissions in our environment.
A normal laptop consumes about 170w per day of electricity and adds another 100-170 kg of CO2 every year.
In today’s world, most of us live a connected lifestyle, meaning that we are always connected to the online world. At present there are about 1.19 billion websites. Apart from this we also have social media, email, video conferencing services. These services run on massive data centres which consumed a amount of 416.2 terawatt hours of electricity last year. This was significantly higher than the UK’s total consumption of about 300 terawatt hours and this adds another 416,200,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Bitcoin is another service which is responsible for huge amounts of emissions. Electricity consumed by the operations of the online currency Bitcoin – which, at the height of the speculative frenzies earlier this year, was set to produce an annual amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to 1m transatlantic flights. Just to put in context, one transatlantic flight emits about 1,650KG of CO2.
There are other environmental concerns when it comes to manufacturing of computing devices. A normal laptop, comprises of upto 25-30% of plastic and to manufacture just 1KG of plastic we emit 20KG of CO2. When it comes to recycling, we again emit 20KG CO2 to recycle 1KG of plastic. Last year there were 160M laptops manufactured, out of which 90% were manufactured in China using non-renewable energy.
Reducing and offsetting
These massive figures for CO2 emissions will keep on increasing if we do not take any action and switch to more sustainable solutions. Depending upon the traffic and the size of a single website, it could take about 2-20 trees to offset its carbon footprint.
The CO2 can be offset not only by planting trees but also by promoting and investing in carbon reducing projects. For example, wood is a source of economy and fuel in some underdeveloped countries and just by introducing new technologies we can reduce the chopping down of trees and save our planet. Another technology for CO2 reduction is Carbon Capturing & Storage whereby carbon is captured from our environment and stored away.
greneIT uses all these methodologies to combat CO2, apart from investing in data centres which use renewable energy and creating efficient websites which are fast to load thereby reducing the load on the servers.
Start your journey towards sustainability.
Do you have a website and want to make a positive impact to our environment?
All of our solutions and services are sustainable and ethical. We always use open source solutions with value-added services. This way we can provide you with managed solutions, so you don’t have to worry about technological issues. Our servers are sustainably sourced with minimum CO2 emissions, plus we plant trees whenever you buy something from us. Therefore, you can rest assured that whilst using our solutions you are doing good to the environment. Learn more...