Green IT, Useful Technological Innovations or Useless Marketing Hype?
Green IT, Useful Technological Innovations or Useless Marketing Hype?
  • Matthew Weigand
  • 승인 2009.02.27 12:19
  • 댓글 0
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The idea of Green IT has been around for a long time, since an initiative in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency called Energy Star, which resulted in new starry logos on quite a few monitors and the creation of sleep mode in personal computers. There have been a wide variety of initiatives, product designs, and marketing campaigns by many companies touting their Green products. But there have also been some objections to the Green initiative by several groups who say that products labeled Green are not really as environmentally-friendly as they can be. Also, some technologies seem to be more environmentally friendly but only transfer the environmental impact to another location, such as hybrid cars which require more electricity from power plants, increasing the environmental footprint of the power plant in exchange for lower car emissions.

Does it matter if the Green IT movement is inaccurate, and doesn't really accomplish everything that it says it does

Yes

Devices which do not help the environment, but which still call themselves environmentally- friendly, take up the position of competition with legitimately environmentally-friendly devices. They potentially decrease the market share of the legitimate devices and prevent them from saving power, or biodegrading, or otherwise lessen their power to help the environment. Fake Green IT products, or greenwash products, do more harm than good.

Additionally, companies which create a Green product that is said to be marginally better for the environment than a popular existing, but aging, product, and then encourage the replacement of the existing product with the new product, may be doing more harm than good. Replacing products such as CRT monitors with LCD monitors, which are said to use less power, can still be bad for the environment. If those perfectly-functional CRT monitors are then thrown out into a landfill, their negative environmental impact can be greater than the energy savings of the entire lifetime of the LCD monitor. Attempts at creating environmentallyfriendly products that are guided by greed can end up being more damaging than not doing anything at all.

No

Even if the benefits between a Green computing device and a normal computing device are only small, it is still better than having no benefits at all. If a Green monitor, for instance, only consumes one less watt of power than an equivalent monitor, it is still an advantage as far as energy conservation is concerned. It is still a step in the right direction.

Also, getting companies to care about Green computing at all is a good first step. Later on, when companies are all on the same footing of producing Green products, they can be encouraged to compete in the quality of their energy-saving or environmentally-friendly products, but for now it is good to just know that they are interested in providing anything along those lines.

Finally, creating Green products is a way to educate consumers as well. Those who buy products with a Green label will be able to find out exactly why their product is Green, what importance that has, and will probably look for other Green products in the future. Then, eventually, products can be competing by how environmentally- friendly they are and the whole world benefits.


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