Recognise The Necessity For Measurability And Accountability Of Energy Consumption

First Day Keynotes At Green IT Expo 2008 – 4th – 5th November, Barbican Exhibition Centre, London

Potential methods and models for measuring energy efficiency and the cost and environmental impact of green IT, were the two major themes highlighted by the keynote speakers on the first day at Green IT Expo 2008, the UK’s first free-to-attend event focusing on sustainable computing.

At yesterday’s opening plenary, Senior Vice President of Forrester Research, Christopher Mines, discussed ways of accelerating and implementing successful green initiatives to ensure IT suppliers and their customers are actively reducing the harmful impacts of computing on the environment. Mines affirmed that green IT does not have to mean higher expenses and outputs for businesses and that energy savings can be acquired by simply turning off unused equipment, recycling IT consumables and implementing virtualisation techniques to cut down on commuting and business travel. He also highlighted the results of a recent Global Green IT Online Survey, which identified that as initiatives and methods of energy measurement are being discussed more publicly, the number of businesses implementing green IT practices has increased by 14% since October 2007.

Following Mines was Head of ICT for Sustainable Growth (Unit H4) at the European Commission, Colette Maloney, who outlined the EC’s initiatives to improve energy efficiency and establish policy frameworks for a lasting contribution to Information Communication Technology’s (ICTs) energy footprint. Maloney reinforced the importance of identifying a widespread standard for measuring and reporting energy consumption. Between 2007 and 2008 the European Commission spent 20 million Euros over 11 research projects that looked at ways of improving energy efficiency at the design phase and ways ICT can serve energy efficient systems.

Maloney explained that individuals cannot see how their energy savings can affect things but ‘if we were more aware of the energy we consume from engaging in different activities, then we could pro-actively work to change our consumption.’

Later in the morning, Chief Technology Officer at IBM, Steve Bowden, looked at what might happen to data centres if they do not start looking at methods to improve the environment and cost efficiency and start taking control of energy saving and cooling requirements. Bowden stated that if left unchecked, the cost to power and cool servers in the future might equal the cost of acquisition and by 2010, there will be over 35 million servers installed worldwide and the cost of powering and cooling them could increase by 54% (Source: IDC – Worldwide Server Power and Cooling Expense 2006-1010).

Energy efficiency is one of the top five concerns for leaders of public sector institutions, government officials, and for CEOs. Managing Director of Green IT Expo organiser Revolution Events, Richard Tribe comments, “We learnt that it is possible for businesses to reduce their operational costs whilst saving between 40-50% in energy, it is just a case of diagnosing which areas could be improved, measuring the energy that could be saved and implementing these processes. It is in our commercial interest to use less energy, drive fewer miles, generate less waste, recycle more, and we must reduce our impacts in these areas to the absolute minimum where the investment and payback is acceptable.”

Green IT Expo ( is supported by event sponsors including IBM, Adobe, Infor, Ricoh, Kyocera, Sun Microsystems, Bell Microsystems Ltd and Microsoft. Green IT Expo 2008 is organised by one of the UK’s leading providers of focused business forums, Revolution Events, in collaboration with the global Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a non-profit group of eco-conscious consumers, businesses and conservation organisations.

Green IT Expo 2009 will take place on the 10th and 11th November, at the Barbican Exhibition Centre, London.

Source: MCC International