Grow Green with your IT Team – Inspiration & Resources
Our environmental challenges
Scientists urge us to be climate-neutral by 2050. In order to reach that goal we must cut carbon emissions by at least 55% in 2030. This leaves us with just 7 years to drastically alter our pathway: we will have to cut our carbon emissions at a revolutionary speed.
Every IT team needs to turn the lens on itself and ask: ‘how are we impacting the planet, and what can we do to navigate towards a safe and stable future on this planet?’
IT carbon footprint
On the one hand the IT sector is often seen as a solution, but on the other hand it’s crucial to understand that our industry also has a large (and growing!) footprint. Here are some statistics:
- Data centers consume approximately between 1 and 2% of global electricity today. According to Harvard Business Review, they will could consume as much as 8% by 2030.
- Researchers estimate that the entire footprint of the IT sector, including device production and life cycle, is about 4% and growing exponentially due to Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. By 2040 it is expected to account for 14% of the world’s carbon footprint (Also according to Harvard Business Review, see link below).
- If the Internet were a country, it would be 7th on the list of largest polluters. It uses the same amount of energy as (a country like) South Africa. If you compare the carbon footprint of the IT industry with that of aviation, the footprint of IT is larger.
Reducing your IT carbon footprint
IT teams have the power to create a significantly more sustainable IT landscape. Together, with all our small steps combined, we can make a change. If you want to determine your first steps in reducing your IT carbon footprint the in-company workshop ‘The Planet as Our Stakeholder’ can be helpful.
Below you find some links with inspiration and resources to get you started.
Grow Green – Getting Started
The Agile Playground – The Planet Retrospective
Green Software Foundation: Patterns for carbon footprint reduction https://patterns.greensoftware.foundation/guide/
Agile Sustainability Survey – See how you compare:
Measuring Carbon Footprint
For more information about the carbon footprint of IT:
Science Direct – Assessing ICT global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 & recommendations
Harvard Business Review – How green is your software
Stanford Magazine – Carbon and the Cloud. Hard facts about data storage
Carbon and the Cloud. Hard facts about data storage. | by Stanford Magazine | Stanford Magazine | Medium
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(This article also appeared on The Planet as a Stakeholder website.)