Although digitization also helps to protect our livelihoods – for example through Climate AI, more CO2 emissions are caused at the same time.
So far, they and other environmentally relevant aspects such as the generation of electronic waste or resource requirements (the famous rare earths) have usually not been the focus of sustainability efforts by industrial companies. This can be changed – with GREEN IT.
A few years ago, Capgemini described GREEN IT in the Green Lean Digital Factory concept as one of 5 levers for strengthening sustainability in manufacturing companies. GREEN IT saves energy and resources through a more intelligent structuring and use of all hardware units – from the data center to server operation and CPU control. Measures already taken when planning data centers enable better and, above all, more energy-efficient air conditioning in buildings. A supply of renewable energy should be standard nowadays. Management of compute utilization is essential – idle times (i.e. times when the CPU is not fully utilized but draws full power) are the biggest waste in the operation of clouds, servers, CPUs and all components. The materials used can also contribute to protecting the environment – or have the opposite effect – both in the buildings and in the equipment. GREEN IT takes these aspects into account. It uses energy and resources responsibly and saves money at the same time.
From the advantages mentioned, it can be easily deduced that GREEN IT is an essential lever in the context of the Green Lean Digital Factory for optimizing economic and ecological effects.
GREEN-IT – one of the five levers for reducing costs and improving the environmental impact of a Green Lean Digital Factory.
The importance of sustainable IT is growing rapidly
Sustainable GREEN IT has now – in the course of the spread of digitization – become a must for manufacturing companies. The increasing streaming of data (including image/video information) as well as performing analytical functions on the collected data and the requirements of distributing the data to many users require more and more computing and data transmission capacity. All of this is only possible with electricity and thus increases the power requirement dramatically.
GREEN IT makes it possible to reduce this rapidly increasing energy consumption again. The amounts of data to be processed must be processed with better utilized computer capacities on less hardware with less energy consumption. Virtualization and CPU management are suitable measures. Reducing the idle times is the main goal – both from an economic and ecological point of view, supplemented of course by all relevant structural measures and the air conditioning control, which must be intelligently regulated.
Sustainable IT deserves much more attention than it currently receives. And there are ways to minimize the impact of IT and digitization-driven developments on the environment: through a different structure of the data centers, through new hardware, but especially through intelligent use of computing capacity and reducing the idle times of the CPUs. Industrial companies must accept the challenge that arises from the sustainability requirements and take into account the effects of digitization in sustainability strategies.
The Capgemini Research Institute took a closer look at the current status of sustainable IT in companies last year.