A Guide to Green IT and Green Technology

Green IT or green technology refers to initiatives to use technology in an environmentally friendly way. Green technology initiatives strive to: 

  • Use power more efficiently
  • Reduce waste
  • Limit the use of hazardous materials
  • Create eco-friendly products
  • Be sustainable 
  • Encourage telecommuting
  • Promote teleconferencing tools
  • Use cloud-based services and applications

Here are some examples of green technology.

Renewable Energy Sources

Renewable energy sources don't use fossil fuel. They are freely available, friendly to the environment, and generate little pollution. Apple, which is building a new corporate center, plans to use wind turbine technology to power much of the building, and Google has already created a wind-powered data center. Alternative energy sources aren't limited to large corporations or to the wind. Solar energy has long been available to homeowners. It is already possible for homeowners to install solar arrays, solar water heaters, and wind generators to provide at least some of their energy requirements. Other familiar green technology sources include geothermal and hydroelectric energy. 

The New Office

Participating in a telecommuting training session rather than flying to the main office, working from home one or more days a week, and using cloud-based services rather than maintaining large on-site servers are all aspects of green technology that ​are already in place in many workplaces. Collaboration becomes possible when all team members have the same app and instant real-time updates on projects prevent avoidable delays.

On the corporate IT level, green technology trends include server and storage virtualization, reducing data center energy consumption, and investing in efficient hardware.

Recycling Tech Products

When you buy your next laptop or desktop computer, check to see if the company you buy it from will accept your old computer for recycling. Apple leads the way in accepting old phones and other devices for recycling and makes it easy for buyers to return their products to the company at the end of their usefulness. If the company you deal with doesn't provide this service, a quick search on the internet will turn up companies happy to take your old products off your hands for recycling.

Green Server Technology

The biggest expense technology giants face is often the construction and maintenance of their data centers, so these areas get a lot of attention. These companies strive to recycle all the equipment that is removed from a data center because of modernization or replacement. They look for alternative energy sources to lower electricity costs and purchase high-efficiency servers to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions.

Electric Vehicles

What was once a pipe-dream is becoming a reality. The production of electric vehicles has increased and captured the imagination of the public. Although still in the early stages of development, it appears electrics cars are here to stay. The reliance on oil for transportation may finally be coming to an end.

The Future of Green Nanotechnology

Green chemistry, which avoids the use or production of hazardous materials, is an important aspect of green nanotechnology. Although still in the sci-fi stage of development, nanotechnology is projected to work with materials at the scale of one-billionth of a meter. When nanotechnology is perfected, it will transform manufacturing and healthcare in this country.

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