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31 May 2010

Companies will look to IT to cut carbon, say analysts

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And use carbon reduction to justify the cost of new systems

IT will play an increasingly significant role in companies’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint in response to the burden of regulation and public opinion, according to a report published recently by tech industry advisory agency Gartner.

By 2014, most business cases for new IT systems will factor in “carbon remediation” advantages, says the report, entitled Gartner top end user predictions for 2010: coping with the new balance of power.

Public policy and public opinion about climate change will mean companies have to look for ways to do business differently, the report argues. IT has proved its ability to make organisations more efficient and profitable, so it is natural for firms to turn to technology as a way of reducing their carbon footprints.

Rising energy costs – a large factor in the running of datacentres – are already driving the uptake of IT systems with lower power consumption than their predecessors, and this trend will continue.

“In practical terms, carbon costs shadow energy costs, requiring the addition of an emissions factor (carbon emissions per kWh) and a projected cost of carbon remediation. Therefore, updating the spreadsheets is a moderately simple task,” the report authors write.


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