Green Computing

Green Computing
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Green computing, also known as sustainable computing or eco-friendly computing, is the practice of using computers and other information technology (IT) resources in an environmentally responsible manner. It involves designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of IT equipment to minimize its environmental impact. Green computing aims to reduce energy consumption, improve resource efficiency, and promote using renewable materials and technologies in the IT industry. This article will provide an overview of the principles and benefits of green computing and the challenges and solutions faced in implementing it.

The evolution of green computing

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Energy Star Program in the US to encourage and reward energy efficiency. This program served as the catalyst for the IT industry’s adoption of the sleep mode feature and for several further initiatives to advance green computing. Energy Star-certified items must adhere to specific operational requirements and have power management features missing from non-certified items.

A grant from the EPA to the Global Electronics Council, which led to the creation of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), furthered the program. To be listed in the EPEAT product register, a product must meet several performance standards. Those for the materials used, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, lifespan, energy consumption, and end-of-life management.

Before the advent of green computing, the IT sector prioritized creating smaller, quicker devices over enhancing sustainability or lowering emissions. On-premises physical servers and hardware are linked with traditional computing. Meanwhile, cloud computing signifies a shift towards a more environmentally friendly approach with a higher focus on efficiency.

How is green computing implemented?

There are four basic ways to put green computing into practice, and each one is constantly evolving to be as productive as possible.

Green utilisation

To guarantee that computers and their related equipment are utilized sustainably, this approach to green computing aims to minimize the amount of power they require. For instance, a laptop with a long battery life won’t need to be charged as frequently. It requires less electricity overall and makes the computer more energy-efficient and sustainable. 

Green garbage

In addition to being made by green computing standards, devices must be disposed of properly to avoid creating too much trash and save the environment from harmful materials like ozone-depleting compounds. Recycling currently used green computer equipment or appropriately discarding out-of-date technology are two ways to dispose of waste greenly.

Green design 

Good design increases a technology’s energy efficiency, particularly in green computing, and is not merely for aesthetic sake. To achieve low energy use, design teams should work to improve the design of green computing products like printers, projectors, or servers. 

Exactly why is green computing crucial?

Energy consumption reduction is the primary goal of green computing. In addition to lowering energy expenses for businesses, this also lessens their carbon footprints, particularly those of their IT assets. In addition to cost savings, environmentally friendly computing methods aid organizations in regulatory compliance and provide them a competitive advantage over rivals with clients and investors.

When designing a data center, it’s crucial to consider the environment’s influence. Information technology systems and other computer resources are becoming energy-efficient because of energy management and conservation improvements. To make buildings more ecologically sustainable, the green design of data centers, offices, and other high-energy-consumption facilities has become a crucial component of new construction and building improvements.

This entails using energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), electrical and lighting systems, and various auxiliary devices. For instance, many components used in data centers offer a sleep mode that lowers power consumption or turns down a plan when not in use. Additionally, the majority of suppliers of IT equipment support environmentally friendly production techniques. When choosing IT hardware and data center components, consideration should be given to the Energy Star emblem of the US government.

The potential of green computing and the associated idea of green IT to decrease an organization’s reliance on fossil fuels is another crucial factor to consider. It has been demonstrated that reducing emissions has a favorable impact on weather, air pollution, and water quality. This reduces the quantity of pollutants discharged into the atmosphere and water sources.

What can manufacturers do?

More energy-efficient chips, like the IBM 2nm or the Samsung and IBM chip, can be stacked vertically. They are instances of creative design that enhance sustainability in computing. Even while the energy use of a single computer chip might appear minor, when multiplied by millions, there is room for substantial energy savings.

IBM has also found several energy-saving solutions. To maximize power and energy efficiency, heterogenous systems, for example, combine frameworks like CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs).

One example is AiMOS, which stands for Artificial Intelligence Multiprocessing Optimised System. It was created with IBM, Empire State Development, and NY CREATEs—one of the most energy-efficient computers ever made. AiMOS is utilized for many projects. It includes creating increasingly sophisticated and effective computing devices.

The carbon cost of computing decreases as designers try to cut the energy each device consumes in operation and the heat those items create. One of the earliest instances of designers using the idea of green computing to save energy is sleep mode.

The choice of materials is also critical. Hazardous materials are kept out of landfills through designs that forgo their use. The environmental impact of technology is reduced by producing less trash when producing gadgets and components. A different but related type of green technology that regulates how the plant runs is known as “green manufacturing.”

Other environmentally friendly computer measures that manufacturers implement include:

  • They are extending the life of computing equipment and components so they don’t need to be changed as frequently.
  • We are enhancing the capacity of consumers to repurpose items.
  • It makes equipment recyclable when it needs to be replaced.

How can I reduce the energy my computer uses?

You can take several actions to save energy if you’re interested in environmentally friendly computing. In addition to purchasing computer hardware that has received green certification. Here are a few things you might want to attempt.

  • Shut off your gadgets. Although putting them in sleep mode is preferable to leaving them on, 5–10% of home energy usage is still incurred by standby equipment. Depending on local energy costs, shutting off your computer while it’s not in use might result in a $50 annual savings and a 450-pound reduction in your carbon footprint.
  • Increase the energy efficiency of your displays. Reduced monitor brightness also results in less energy usage. Switching to dark mode or themes uses less energy than earlier CRT models. (These choices are also accessible to the eyes!)
  • When printing documents, strive to use alternatives that are favorable to the environment. This goes beyond merely ensuring that your printer is power-efficient. Additionally, you can choose recyclable paper, low-VOC inks, and reusable ink cartridges.
  • You can save money and resources by prolonging the lifespan of your computer and other electrical gadgets. Remember that creating new equipment requires a lot of resources and energy.
  • Recycle or properly dispose of your computer equipment if it has reached the end of its useful life. To guarantee that your unwanted electronics are disposed of properly, search for electronics recyclers. That has earned the Responsible Recycling (R2) or e-Stewards certification.

Challenges in green computing

While green computing has numerous advantages, not all businesses will be willing to make the necessary adjustments. The following are some obstacles that companies run into while implementing green computing initiatives:

The price of replacing equipment 

The expense of replacing current technological assets with energy-efficient ones. Those that have the Energy Star accreditation are the most significant hurdle. This includes replacing physical security, HVAC, electricity, and lighting systems. The cost must be carefully considered when upgrading IT assets, such as servers, networking hardware, storage devices, and primary and backup power systems.

Modernization of rented premises

Organizations that rent space in buildings with data centers might inquire about the owner’s plans to make the facility more energy-efficient by implementing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria of the U.S. Green Facility Council. While modern buildings can more readily be planned for or modified to attain LEED certification, owners of older structures are less inclined to undertake such an update.

Even then, though, the expense of making such adjustments might be too high, or they might raise the rent if they are made. A business can also request authorization from building management to improve physical systems. As stated, there is a cap on how much upgrading is permitted.

Lack of knowledge of green computing

Finding specialists in green computing who can help with data center architecture and IT asset improvements presents another possible difficulty. For instance, they assist in creating a well-organized plan of activities to swap out outdated technology with more energy-efficient models over a year or two. Nevertheless, despite a growth in the availability of consulting services for sustainability initiatives, finding such professionals can take time and effort.


Green computing is essential for addressing our time’s environmental and energy challenges by adopting energy-efficient technologies, reducing electronic waste, and promoting sustainable practices. Green computing can help to minimize the industry’s carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. Moreover, the economic benefits of green computing, such as lower energy bills and reduced waste disposal costs, make it a compelling option for businesses and individuals alike. Green computing offers a promising solution, creating a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.

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