4.3 - Green IT

Exam Board:



2016 - Unit 2 

What is 'Green IT'?

‘Green IT’ is to use computers / IT resources in an efficient and environmentally responsible way to reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint and to become more eco-friendly.


The aim is to become sustainable, in turn organisations can benefit by reducing energy expenditure and therefore save money by employing good green IT practice. The general public are increasingly environmentally conscious and many people will prefer to do business with a company that follows environmentally friendly policies.

Examples of Green IT Practice

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

  • Switch off computers, monitors and other devices rather than leaving them on stand-by.

  • Recycle ink cartridges and paper.

  • Store documents centrally or on cloud storage instead of printing and storing on individual devices.

  • Organisations could reduce waste by recycling resources such as computers by giving them to charities or schools for reuse.

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.

The Greening Government ICT Strategy (introduced in 2011 for 4 years) was an annual report that investigated how IT use could become 'greener' within the UK government. Overall this had positive effects as the carbon footprint of government services have decreased since 2011, thanks to measures such as using cloud storage technology to reduce emissions and remove the need for purchasing and using multiple individual storage devices. The government have also used social media more widely to contact voters - saving money by posting fewer letters and leaflets. A third implementation of green IT was the increased use of teleconferencing and video calls - reducing the need for unnecessary travel to meetings and avoiding the generation of heavy pollution.

Questo's Questions

4.3 - Green IT:

1. What is meant by the term 'Green IT?' [2]

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

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

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