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4.3 - Green IT

Exam Board:



2016 - Unit 2 

What is 'Green IT'?

Green IT’ is to use computers and IT resources in an efficient and environmentally responsible way to reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint.

To 'reduce carbon footprint' means to decrease the amount of pollution (such as CO2) produced by an organisation and to engage in more eco-friendly practice.

Examples of Green IT Practice

Global Requirements of Green IT

United Nations Climate Change conferences occur every year and are attended by leaders of each country in the United Nations. The conferences establish obligations for countries to work towards reducing their carbon footprints and emissions of greenhouse gases. Whilst Green IT is not specifically mentioned in these talks, IT is a hugely important sector with large annual emissions that need to be reduced to meet the climate change limitations, such as the Paris Agreement.

In the UK, the Greening Government ICT Strategy (running between 2011 and 2015) was an annual report that investigated how IT use could become 'greener' within the government. Positive consequences of this strategy included:

  • Using more cloud storage technology, enabling fewer individual storage devices to be purchased, reducing emissions.

  • Using social media more widely to contact voters - saving money by posting fewer letters and leaflets.

  • Increasing the use of teleconferencing and video calls - reducing the need for unnecessary travel to meetings and avoiding the generation of heavy pollution.

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Questo's Questions

4.3 - Green IT:

1. What is meant by the term 'Green IT'. [3]

2a. Explain four ways that an organisation can follow good green IT practice. [4]

2b. Describe two reasons why it is beneficial to a company of following Green IT. [4]

3a. Why are the United Nations Climate Change conferences important? [2]

3b. Describe two ways that the UK government have used Green IT. [4]

Turn off computers, monitors and other connected devices when not in use.

Adjust power options to help minimise power consumption.​

Use cloud storage or virtualisation to reduce the number of physical devices being bought, powered and maintained.

Repair older devices rather than throwing them away.

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Consider if it is necessary to print a document before doing so and print only what is required.

Recycle ink cartridges and paper. Donate older equipment to charities or schools for reuse.

Why use Green IT?

It is in an organisation's best interests to use Green IT practices for the following reasons:


  • To become more sustainable by reducing the company's carbon footprint and positively impacting the environment.

  • Reducing energy costs (e.g. by turning equipment off when not in use) and saving money.

  • Improving the public image of the organisation as people are increasingly environmentally conscious and will prefer to do business with a company that follows environmentally-friendly policies.

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