The worldwide usage of digital devices consists of mobile devices, tablets, and PC’s close to 7.7 billion per statistic in 2017. In a recent study, it was revealed that U.S. servers & data centers contributing 103 billion lbs CO2e annually. The same report further describes statistics in 2016, 89% of households in the U.S. had a computer at home, this is significant growth in comparison to 8% in 1984.
It’s very clear that the synergetic combination of computing devices and the internet has become the core backbone of most businesses, industries, agencies, and state governments across the world. Similarly, there is a significant contribution to energy consumption and excessive pollution, which gradually turns to a disastrous level across regions.
This post will evaluate critical Green Computing practices for sustainability from 2 perspectives.
What is Green Computing?
As per the definition, green computing is the environmentally responsible and eco-friendly use of computers and their resources. In broader terms, it is also defined as the study of designing, manufacturing/engineering, using and disposing of computing devices in a way that reduces their environmental impact.
In simple words, green computing is nothing but minimizing the hazarded impact on the environment by improving energy efficiency, recyclability, and bio-biodegradability. This initiative “Energy Star” started way back in 1992 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency launched a program “Energy Star” to reduce the energy consumption efficiency in monitors, climate control equipment, and related technologies.
Strategies Adaptation of Green Computing
There are two main aspects for Green Computing adaptation .
Hardware Related Approaches
Product longevity, product acceptance, and materials sourcing.
- The hardware device manufacturers are encouraged to design and produce computing devices that last longer so that the rate of disposal would eventually reduce. Thus reducing exponential production and pollution caused by materials of thrown-out items. Further, an increasing number of leading manufacturers accept products returned by their customers once the product lifecycle is over. Such collected products can be recycled and could be used as a source of materials for newer models. So that excessive mining for raw materials can be reduced.
Designing Energy-efficient data centers
- The ever increasing establishment Datacenters to support human informational needs is vastly considered a contributor to global warming as they consume excessive amounts of energy for running and cooling. Therefore, nowadays many blue-chip IT firms are focused on building sustainable data centers with technically sophisticated servers with lesser power consumption and employing sustainable means of cooling methods. E.g. Facebook’s new data center in Ireland uses ambient cool airflow to its machines.
Software Related Approaches
- The software creators are increasingly working on writing energy-efficient applications that would consume lesser amounts of computing resources during execution. Creating programs that consume a lesser amount of resources such as storage, processing power is the focus in this case.
- This could be known as the process of replacing many non-utilized or underutilized servers by a limited number of fully utilized servers by running multiple applications. With this technique, only less number of machines are utilized with optimum energy usage. Thus contributing towards a smaller carbon footprint.
- Data Center Design Should consider the following aspects.
- Environmental conditions
- Air management
- Cooling systems
- Electrical systems
Above are some of the ways that modern-day computing device manufacturers and computer application service providers strive towards a world with greener computing practices. Although it does incur initial costs, in the long run, the companies can reap benefits with mainly lesser energy costs and improved corporate image in the competitive market.