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IDG Connect – Dan Swinhoe (Global)- Going Green_ US vs

IDG Connect – Dan Swinhoe (Global)- Going Green_ US vs

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31/01/2013IDG Connect Dan Swinhoe (Global)- Going Green: US vs. Europe1/2 www.idgconnect.com/preview_document_new 
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Dan Swinhoe (Global)-Going Green: US vs. Europe
In Iceland sitsThor . Not a Norse God, but a supercomputer. And a special one at that, for it's the world's first zero-emissions supercomputer. Powered by geothermal energy, Thor represents the pinnacle of Green IT. According toGartner , improving sustainability will become a top priority for the majority of companies in the next couple of years. With good reason, sustainability and the concept of Green IT have grown in stature in recent years. In developed countries such as the UK and the US, IT accounts for around 2% of energy use. Maybe not much, but that figure is predicted to rise dramatically in the years to come. Paperless offices, concerns over raremetals, eWaste, inefficiency, plus the usual concerns about where the juice to power everything is coming from arehigher in priority than they've ever been. The fact that data center power usage has soared by over 60%in a year and rumours that cloud computing isn't asGreenas we first thought have brought computing's role in theenvironment to the fore. As two of the biggest markets for pretty much every kind of tech, and responsible for many of the rules that help or hinder the cause, how do the US & Europe vary in their approach to Green IT & sustainability?
Though it differs across individual countries, Europe as a whole is right at the fore when it comes to trying to goGreen. The EU is funding the "Eurocloud" project for cleaner cloud technology, and aims to make Europe thehome of Green computing ". Couple this with numerousdirectivesand regulationsand it's very hard to fault  Europe on its policy efforts.In the US meanwhile, things aren't quite so advanced. During his election campaign, President Obamastated that 'climate change is not a hoax', something that wouldn't need to be said in most countries. He did however, promisefurther efforts to support to clean energy. As well as a large pro-oil section of government, theSMARTer2020 report explains the commitment to the Green cause varie wildly from state to state, making reduction in emissions muchharder.
The commitment of companies to the Green cause also varies depending on which side of the pond you dobusiness. A 2011 KPMG report found that 55%of US companies have a sustainability plan, compared to 62% of their European counterparts, though newer US figures show an increase of around 10% (current Euro numbersare hard to find).Greenpeace, who are campaigning for Greener clouds and greater transparency, release a regular report - theGood Greenpeace Guideto Greener Electronics - to ‘evaluate leading consumer electronics companies based ontheir commitment and progress' in a variety of environmental criteria. Indian electronics company Wipro took thetop spot, while the US and Europe both featured two each in the top ten - HP (2nd) & Dell (5th), Nokia (3rd) &Phillips (10th).
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January 2013
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