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ROLE OF IT INDUSTRY IN ENVIRONMENTAL

PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT.

By:
Ankeet Shankar
Btech Computer Science (B div)
424
Role of IT in environmental protection
IT industries around the world, be it the hardware manufacturers or the
software services providers have started realising their responsibility
towards the environment. These industries employ huge data centres and
server farms which consume huge amounts of electricity leading to
emissions and the clients which deploy their products also end up paying
more for such services in terms of power bills cooling costs for their
servers and data centres.

As a result the clients and the companies themselves have become more
aware of the problems and the new avenues of cutting costs. For this they
aim to reduce consumption by employing more efficient designs of the
various services and components which they use.

First in this assignment we provide some of the major agencies especially


for this purpose which have been joined by major server manufacturers
then followed by some other agencies on what they aim to achieve.

Last but not the least we have enlisted some steps by Microsoft regarding
their initiatives for an efficient framework towards achieving sustainability
and environmental protection.

CLIMATE SAVERS COMPUTING


For Organizations

“By joining the Initiative, the members commit to specifying systems that meet or exceed the
latest ENERGY STAR specification for a majority of their corporate personal computer and
volume server purchases. In addition to fulfilling purchase requirements, members also
commit to use computer power management features whenever possible.”

Because changing your organization's purchasing requirements and implementing power


management can be a significant undertaking, Climate Savers Computing offer new members
a one-year grace period for compliance with the program criteria. The first-year 'on-boarding'
period gives new members an opportunity to ramp up to the criteria requirements of the
following year.

The tables below lists the minimum percentage of total procurements requested from Climate
Savers Computing Initiative participants at each efficiency level in a given year.

PC efficiency purchase commitment requirements

Member’s first July ‘07 - July ‘08 - July ‘09 - July ‘10 -
year June ‘08 June ‘09 June ‘10 June ‘11
Base (most recent version of
ENERGY STAR PC >=50% 100% 100% 100% 100%
specification)

Bronze (ENERGY STAR +


>=20% >=80% 100%
85% PSU)

Silver (ENERGY STAR +


>=20% >=80%
88% PSU)

Gold (ENERGY STAR +


>=20%
90% PSU)

Volume-server efficiency purchase commitment requirements*

Member’s first July 07 - July ‘08 - July ‘09 - July ‘10 -


year June 08 June ‘09 June ‘10 June ‘11

Bronze (85% PSU + Energy


>=10% >=20% >=80% >=80% 100%
Star Tier 1 Server qualified)

Silver (89% PSU + Energy


>=20% >=40% 100%
Star Tier 1 Server qualified)

Gold (92% PSU + Energy


>=20%
Star Tier 1 Server qualified)

*Specifications are for volume servers that are 1S, 2S, 4S and blade servers.

Example:
A member who joins in December 2009 will need to ensure 50% of their Personal Computer
purchases meet or exceed the ENERGY STAR specification. Once the one-year grace period
is complete in December 2010, the member would be required to meet the existing criteria for
the July’10-June’11 program year. If the member planned to buy 1,000 new desktop
computers and 10 new servers in January 2011, they would break down as follows:

• All 1,000 of the desktop computers should be Energy Star 5.0 qualified
• Of the 1,000 desktop computers, 800 or more should have a power supply that is at
least 85% energy-efficient (in addition to being Energy Star 5.0 qualified)
• Of those 800 desktop computers, 200 or more should have a power supply that is at
least 88% energy-efficient (in addition to being Energy Star 5.0 qualified)
• Eight or more of the 10 new servers purchased should have a power supply that is at
least 85% energy-efficient and be Energy Star Tier 1 Server Specification qualified.
• Four or more of the 10 new servers should have a power supply that is at least 89%
energy-efficient and be Energy Star Tier 1 Server Specification qualified.

Power Management Requirements

In addition to efficiency specifications, members must use power management features such
as the "sleep" or "hibernate" settings on client computers, whenever possible. The Initiative’s
power management policies recommend computers turn off the display and hard drive after
15 minutes of inactivity, and put the system into "sleep" mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.
Members are given a one-year grace period for planning and piloting power management
before broad deployment. At the conclusion of the one-year grace period, members are
expected to meet the full requirements for power management deployment.

For Computer and Server Manufacturers

The baseline requirement for all Climate Savers Computing qualified PCs, laptops, and
workstations is meeting the current effective ENERGY STAR specification. Bronze, Silver,
and Gold level systems must also meet the additional power supply unit (PSU) energy
efficiency requirements outlined below.

Climate Savers Computing requirements for systems with multi output power supply units.
(These systems typically include desktop PCs, thin clients, and workstations):
1. Climate Savers Computing Bronze: Current effective ENERGY STAR specification
PLUS an 85% minimum efficiency rating for the PSU at 50% of rated output (and
82% minimum efficiency at 20% and 100% of rated output) and a power factor of at
least 0.9 at 50% of rated output.
2. Climate Savers Computing Silver: Current effective ENERGY STAR specification
PLUS an 88% minimum efficiency rating for the PSU at 50% of rated output (and
85% minimum efficiency at 20% and 100% of rated output) and a power factor of at
least 0.9 at 50% of rated output.

3. Climate Savers Computing Gold: Current effective ENERGY STAR specification


PLUS a 90% minimum efficiency rating for the PSU at 50% of rated output (and 87%
minimum efficiency at 20% and 100% of rated output) and a power factor of at least
0.9 at 50% of rated output.
Climate Savers Computing requirements for systems with single output power supply units.
(These systems typically are volume servers, including single, dual and 4 socket-servers in
pedestal and rack form factors and blade servers capable of having up to four processors):
1. Climate Savers Computing Silver: Volume servers must meet current effective
ENERGY STAR server specification PLUS installed PSU that meets CSCI silver PSU
requirements. See below under equipment manufacturer specifications.
2. Climate Savers Computing Gold: Volume servers must meet current effective
ENERGY STAR server specification PLUS installed PSU that meets CSCI gold PSU
requirements. See below under equipment manufacturer specifications.

3. Climate Savers Computing Platinum: Volume servers must meet current effective
ENERGY STAR server specification PLUS installed PSU that meets CSCI platinum
PSU requirements. See below under equipment manufacturer specifications.

PSU Equipment Manufacturers

System manufacturers participating in the Climate Savers Computing Initiative have


committed to working to develop products that meet or exceed the Initiative’s Program
Criteria. The following system types are currently included in the Climate Savers Computing
specifications:

• Clients (typically featuring multi-output PSUs)


• Workstations (typically featuring multi-output PSUs)
• Single, dual and 4 socket-servers in pedestal and rack form factors (single and multi
output PSUs)
• Blade servers capable of having up to four processors
• Note that Climate Savers Computing has not defined a separate client specification
for laptop computers. Laptops are covered by the ENERGY STAR external PSU
requirements.

The protocol for testing internal power supply efficiency is available at


http://efficientpowersupplies.epri.com/pages/Latest_Protocol
/Generalized_Internal_Power_Supply_Efficiency_Test_Protocol_R6.2.pdf.
GREEN GRID COMPUTING::
About The Green Grid
The data center has changed considerably through the decades as the evolution of information
technology has enabled it to become the critical nerve center of today’s enterprise. The
number of data center facilities has increased over time as business demands increase, and
each facility houses a rising amount of more powerful IT equipment. Data center managers
around the world are running into limits related to power, cooling, and space - and the rise in
demand for the important work of data centers has created a noticeable impact on the world’s
power grids. The efficiency of data centers has become an important topic of global
discussion among end-users, policy-makers, technology providers, facility architects, and
utility companies.

When a standard set of measurements are adopted by the industry, it will be easier for end-
users to manage their facilities and equipment to achieve optimal energy efficiency. The
Green Grid is a global consortium of IT companies and professionals seeking to improve
energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems around the globe. The
organization seeks to unite global industry efforts to standardize on a common set of metrics,
processes, methods and new technologies to further its common goals.

CASE STUDY FOR GREE GRID COMPUTING

Interxion has participated as a Contributor Member of The Green Grid for two years and
served an important role in a number of projects, most notably in the development of
practical universal metrics for energy and power efficiency. Interxion will also be hosting
developed an Energy Efficiency Roadmap Seminar, which is scheduled for September 2010
and will feature speakers from The Green Grid, The Uptime Institute, APC by Schneider
Electric, and the European Commission DG JRC.

As well as supporting The Green Grid in its work to develop and promote energy efficiency
for data centers and business computing ecosystems, Interxion has benefited hugely from the
advice that The Green Grid has delivered over the past two to three years. Most notably,
Interxion has adopted the following TGG tools and procedures:

• Monitoring of energy ratio (PUE) in all 27 data centres since 2004


• Energy-efficient component selection within design engineering requirements
o includes deployment of free-air-cooling in all new builds since 2006
• Monthly internal overview of energy-efficiency covering all of the 11 countries in
which the company operates
• Energy metering and providing energy-efficiency measurements to customers on
request
• Best practice advice on energy-efficient implementation for customers.
The data center has changed considerably through the decades as the evolution of information
technology has enabled it to become the critical nerve center of today's enterprise. The
number of data center facilities has increased over time as business demands increase, and
each facility houses a rising amount of more powerful IT equipment. Data center managers
around the world are running into limits related to power, cooling, and space - and the rise in
demand for the important work of data centers has created a noticeable impact on the world's
power grids. The efficiency of data centers has become an important topic of global
discussion among end-users, policy-makers, technology providers, facility architects, and
utility companies.

The Green Grid is a global consortium dedicated to developing and promoting energy
efficiency for data centers and business computing ecosystems by:

• Defining meaningful, user-centric models and metrics


• Promoting the adoption of energy efficient standards, processes, measurement
methods and technologies
• Developing standards, measurement methods, processes and new technologies to
improve performance against the defined metrics

Global Reach, Local Impact


The Green Grid is working closely with end-users, technology providers and governments
around the world to create standards for more efficient use of energy in data centers. Through
data collection and analysis, assessment of emerging technologies and devising best practices
for data center operators, we are creating industry-leading metrics and measurements for
executives and end-users anywhere in the world to determine the efficiency of their specific
data centers.

Help Shape the Dialog


Regardless of the nature of your organization or your role in it, The Green Grid offers a place
for you in the dialog. According to a recent study by Emerson Network Power, 72% of
companies surveyed do not have a documented strategy for reducing energy use in the data
center, although most agree that data center energy consumption is a real issue of concern.
Our organization provides a forum where IT, Facilities and other C-level executives come
together to discuss different options that exist for improving energy efficiency. Findings and
recommendations from these forums are published on a regular basis, and metrics have been
established which are now industry-standard.
Where Government and Industry Organizations Intersect
Many industry organizations and governments want to help their members and constituents
better address energy efficiency. The Green Grid is the only organization working across
these many diverse organizations with the singular purpose of creating standards to help end-
users better measure and manage data center energy efficiency. These close collaborations
have resulted in the wide adoption of Green Grid-created metrics such as Power Usage
Effectiveness (PUE), Data center infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE), and others under
development including Data Center Productivity (DCP).

Join The Green Grid: Get Connected To IT


Membership in the Green Grid offers benefits to your organization and to the industry. Data
centers vary considerably - from the age of the facility, to location, to the infrastructure inside
it, to the work it produces. By participating in a variety of work groups and user forums, you
will be able to add your company’s voice to the hundreds of others that are developing the
next wave of globally-adopted metrics and measurements that will help you achieve
efficiency in your data centers.
GITA : GREEN IT ALLIANCE
The mission of the Green IT Alliance is to become a nationally recognized Clean
Technology Center of Excellence devoted to accelerating broad adoption of technologies
and practices for integrating energy efficient IT infrastructure into sustainable enterprise
and data center architectures.

The power and cooling demands associated with IT infrastructure has been recognized as one
of the fastest growing segments of United States energy demand. The U.S. economy is
largely information technology based, and growth in the sector is not only good for the
economy, but critical to the nations future. However, in the face of rising concerns about
global climate change, businesses must act quickly to adopt new technologies and practices to
improve the energy efficiency of our IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, IT infrastructure is
mission critical, and most data center operators and IT managers are reluctant to use their
facilities to experiment with new approaches. Consequently, the sector has a long technology
adoption cycle. Therefore, a primary objective of the Green IT Alliance is to serve as a test
bed and pilot project implementation center to facilitate the industrys ability to test new
technologies and approaches in a low risk fashion.
SOME MEMBERS ARE:
DETAILED REPORT OF STEPS BY MICROSOFT FOR PROTECTION OF THE
ENVIRONMENT

Microsoft Environmental Partnerships Overview

Microsoft is working with our partners, customers, suppliers, governments and


leading environmental organizations to apply the power of software and
information technology to supporting environmental sustainability. Key areas
where we collaborate to promote positive environmental outcomes include:

• Using information technology to improve energy efficiency;


• Accelerating research and scientific breakthroughs to solve pressing
societal issues of energy, climate, and environment; and
• Demonstrating responsible environmental leadership and citizenship in
our own facilities, operations, and supply chain.

The following provide highlights of our environmental partnerships with leading


non-governmental organizations and public institutions, but is by no means
comprehensive. Our website www.microsoft.com/environment provides
additional detail, updates, and information on the broad range of Microsoft’s
environmental sustainability activities.

Using Information Technology to Improve Energy Efficiency

Microsoft works with governments, academic researchers, and environmental


groups to (1) reduce the energy use of information technology itself and (2) to
help others effectively use information technology to improve energy efficiency
across the economy. Among these collaborative efforts:

• Microsoft is a board member and active participant in the Climate Savers


Computing Initiative, a collaboration between leading IT companies and
World Wildlife Fund which aims to reduce the environmental impact of IT
through education, awareness, and tools. Collectively, the group is
committed to reduce global carbon emissions from computing by over 50
million tons per year by 2010. (www.climatesaverscomputing.org)

• Microsoft is also a board member of The Green Grid, which is developing


standard metrics and best practices to measure and improve energy
efficiency in data centers. (www.thegreengrid.org)
• Microsoft is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR® program to
develop specific requirements for data centers, PCs and servers. In
addition, Microsoft created a special System Center configuration pack
that allows organizations to easily configure their IT systems to meet
ENERGY STAR® guidelines.
(www.microsoft.com/environment/energy_star.aspx)

• Microsoft helped develop the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centers, a


voluntary commitment to implement energy efficiency best practices and
use energy-efficient equipment.
(http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/energyefficiency/html/standby_initiative_data
%20centers.htm)

• Microsoft and the Clinton Climate Initiative have collaborated on an


initiative called on Project 2° to enable cities to accurately monitor,
compare and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through the
development of a free web-based application. The Project 2° Emissions
Tracker software allows cities to establish a baseline of their greenhouse
gas emissions, create action plans, track the effectiveness of their
emissions reduction programs, and share experiences with each other.
(http://www.microsoft.com/environment/Project2Degrees.aspx)

• Microsoft sponsored, helped design, and contributed data and case studies
to a World Wildlife Fund report “From Workplace to Anyplace” that
quantifies the potential environmental benefits of unified communications
software. With sponsorship from Microsoft, WWF also launched a web-
based carbon scenario planning tool to help businesses and policymakers
calculate the potential carbon savings from varying levels of technology
and policy adoption promoting telework/virtual meeting solutions in five
specific regions: U.S., Europe, India, China, and Japan. Microsoft has also
engaged with national WWF groups around the world on diverse issues,
from greening our offices in Finland, to promoting telework in Mexico, to
supporting computer monitoring of a protected forest reserve in Italy.

• Microsoft is a founding member of the Digital Energy Solutions


Campaign (DESC). DESC is a coalition of leading information and
communications technology (ICT) companies and environmental non-
governmental organizations dedicated to expanding policymakers'
understanding of the role of ICT in improving the energy efficiency of the
broader economy. The coalition is committed to advancing public policies
that promote the use of ICT solutions as a means toward solving our
nation's energy challenge, spurring innovation and economic opportunity,
and contributing to practical strategies for mitigating climate change.
(www.behindthegreen.org/)

• Microsoft serves on the board of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative


(GeSI), a collaborative effort between leading IT companies and the
United Nations Environment Programme and International
Telecommunication Union. Microsoft sponsored GeSI’s influential Smart
2020 report on ways IT can address climate change and led the
development of the U.S. Addendum to the Smart 2020 report.
(www.gesi.org and www.smart2020.org)

• Microsoft is working with the Environmental Defense Fund on the


Pecan Street Project, a public-private partnership with Austin Energy and
the City of Austin to develop a cutting-edge clean energy distribution
system. (http://blogs.msdn.com/see/archive/2008/12/04/pecan-street-
project-brings-together-city-of-austin-austin-energy-university-of-texas-
austin-chamber-and-environmental-defense-fund-to-design-energy-
system-of-the-future.aspx)

• Microsoft is a Platinum sponsor of the Green IT Alliance (GITA),


providing $250,000 worth of software to help GITA further its work to
accelerate energy efficient data center design and other green IT
solutions. GITA is a non-profit U.S. Clean Technology Center of Excellence
focused on public-private interdisciplinary research on green IT issues.
(www.gitalliance.org)

Accelerating Research and Scientific Breakthroughs for Environmental


Sustainability

Microsoft seeks opportunities to apply the power of software to help address


issues of pressing concern to governments and individuals around the world. We
have a growing portfolio of partnerships underway to help scientists achieve
fundamental breakthroughs on pressing environmental topics and to help society
to make use of environmental information. A broad overview of Microsoft
Research’s environmental sustainability activities is available at
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/focus/e3/default.aspx. Some
selected examples include:

• Microsoft Research collaborated with hydrology scientists at the


University of California, Berkeley Water Center and the Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory to build a “Digital Watershed” to help
researchers gain an accurate picture of the health of a watershed by
better using and visualizing existing disparate data sets.
http://www.microsoft.com/environment/our_commitment/articles/digital_w
atershed.aspx

• Microsoft Research collaborated with the University of Washington and


the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on Project Trident, a
scientific workflow workbench for oceanography. Trident enables scientists
to explore and visualize oceanographic data in real-time and to visually
compose, run and catalogue workflows for important experiments and
data analysis. (www.microsoft.com/mscorp/tc/trident.mspx)
• In 2009, Microsoft and the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to leverage information
and communication technology to help address climate change and other
complex global environmental challenges. Areas of cooperation include:
providing access to research and scientific information on the
environment; building integrated knowledge platforms to enable better
cooperation between environmental scientists, policymakers, NGOs, and
other stakeholders; and supporting the development of applications for
environmental sustainability management. In addition, Microsoft
Research’s Computational Science Laboratory in Cambridge, UK, will work
with UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre to pioneer new
computational modeling for biodiversity and conservation. Microsoft also
joined the UN’s Climate Neutral Network, a forum for companies and
organizations to share best practices about reducing their carbon
footprint.
(www.microsoft.com/emea/presscentre/pressreleases/UNEP_170209.mspx
)

• Microsoft and the European Environment Agency (EEA) are partnering


to create the Eye on Earth online environmental observatory, a five-year
collaboration that aggregates critical information, including European soil,
air and ozone indicators, into one online location. This is the first concrete
step towards delivering environmental information to more than 500
million citizens across Europe. (www.eyeonearth.eu)

Demonstrating Responsible Environmental Leadership at Microsoft

Microsoft is working to measure, report, and reduce our environmental impacts


across our operations and our supply chain. One particular area of focus is
reducing our carbon emissions per unit of revenue by at least 30 percent
compared with 2007 levels by 2012. External groups we work with include:

• Microsoft is a charter participant in the U.S. EPA Low Carbon IT


Campaign, committing to use energy-saving power management features
on monitors and computers in our facilities.
(www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_mgt_low_carbon)

• Since 2004, Microsoft has voluntarily responded to the annual Carbon


Disclosure Project (CDP) request which asks companies to disclose how
they measure, manage, and reduce emissions and respond to climate
change. Microsoft was included in CDP’s 2007 Climate Disclosure
Leadership Index. (www.cdproject.net/online_response.asp?
cid=1152&year=2)

• Microsoft is an official Organizational Stakeholder of the Global


Reporting Initiative, a multi-stakeholder global network that provides
guidance on corporate reporting on environment and other corporate
social responsibility issues. Microsoft uses the GRI Sustainability Reporting
Guidelines to report to stakeholders on many of our environmental policies
and performance. (www.globalreporting.org)

• Microsoft is on the Executive Committee of the Sustainable Packaging


Coalition, an industry coalition that provides education, resources, and
tools to promote more environmentally sustainable packaging design, use,
and recycling. (www.sustainablepackaging.org)

• Microsoft works with various groups to promote reuse and end-of-life


recycling of Microsoft hardware products like Xbox and computers
produced by our partners. Microsoft is an active participant in a United
Nations Initiative called Solving the Ewaste Problem (STEP).
(www.step-initiative.org/) Microsoft helped establish a new center in
Uganda to refurbish used computers for discount sale to the local market
as part of a Microsoft partnership with the UN Industrial Development
Organization (UNIDO) to promote sustainable development in
developing countries (www.unido.org/index.php?id=o83086 )

• Since 1983, Microsoft and its employees have provided over $3.4 billion in
cash, services and software to nonprofits around the world through
localized, company-sponsored giving and volunteer campaigns, including
numerous environmental groups. Over the past year, Microsoft provided
strategic software grants worth $200,000 to the Green IT Alliance,
$700,000 to the Kenya-based Greenbelt Movement (headed by Nobel
Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathi) and $2.5 million to The Nature
Conservancy. As a partner with the Net Hope coalition, Microsoft
provides IT capacity building to a coalition of leading global humanitarian
and environmental groups, including The Nature Conservancy, Water
Aid, and Wildlife Conservation Society. Microsoft serves on the
steering committee of Freedom to Roam, a coalition of corporations,
governments, and non-governmental organizations working to find
solutions to the threats development and global warming present to
wildlife. (www.microsoft.com/ngo)

CONCLUSION
Thus it can be seen that the IT companies have come of age and
have started to realise their responsibility to the environment, But
this change in mindset is still not seen in India as the Major IT
companies here are left off by lax government laws and lack of
initiatives from the governments’ front.
All in all it can be said that the rate at which the IT industries are
growing they need to take some concrete steps towards achieving a
sustainable development for uninterrupted future growth.