What is green computing and how can it save energy costs
Software Development

What is green computing and how can it save on energy costs?

date: 8 December 2022
reading time: 5 min

Green computing is known by several different names: green technology, green IT and environmentally friendly computing are some of the most common variations.

What is green computing?

Green computing refers to using computers, electronic devices and computing equipment in an energy-efficient manner. It is all about the design and manufacture, usage and disposal of these devices, in a way that helps to reduce unnecessary carbon emissions and energy consumption by manufacturers, data centres, and even end-users.

Green computing is also concerned with the selection of sustainably sourced renewable materials which reduce electronic waste and prompt sustainability across the industry.

The energy demands and carbon output of computing and the entire ICT sector must be dramatically moderated if climate change is to be slowed in time to avoid catastrophic environmental damage.
Association for Computing Machinery

Energy-efficient computing has the potential to make a huge impact on our environment. In these troubling times of excessive waste, pollution and carbon emissions, it is crucial that we look to technology as a means of positively impacting our world.

A 2021 report from the Technology Policy Council on Computing and Climate Change estimated that between 1.8-3.9% of all global carbon emissions can be attributed to the IT sector. They state that 3% of all energy consumed worldwide is used by data centres, and that these data centres have doubled in their energy consumption rates over the past 10 years alone.

Every single piece of modern technology has a carbon footprint. It takes time designing it, manufacturing it, testing it… There is a ‘carbon price tag’ for all components, from a huge data centre right down to the smallest chip. Green and environmentally friendly computing is a process that seeks to reduce these carbon price tags. Technology companies are driving the green revolution along with large corporations, governmental bodies and charities. GreenTech can be adopted by any large-scale user of technology, who can have a massive impact by taking on board the green computing model.

How green computing can help you save on energy costs

We live in uncertain times where the cost of living has gone through the roof. Heating, electricity and gasoline have all shot up in price, as have utilities. It’s important now more than ever that we look at cost-saving measures for our businesses and our homes.

All electronic components associated with computers and computer systems use energy. From PCs, power systems, HVAC and lighting systems, right through to your climate control unit, everything required energy to function. Green computing can make a huge difference when it comes to saving money on electricity and reducing energy consumption.

Following the green computing ethos of using energy-saving processes when designing and manufacturing systems throughout their life-cycles enables us to make a big difference. These small but consistent improvements across the board help to drive energy efficiency in a big way once they all add up.

Every single component saves just a little bit of energy when in use, runs a tiny bit quicker, is slightly more efficient to produce, and can be recycled or reused more easily – this is the philosophy of green computing.

These changes help you to save money on electricity, run more energy-efficient computer systems and once combined with other green computing technologies, huge savings can be made.

Best practices for green computing

Are you thinking about how to be more eco-friendly? Many companies are now looking to green computing as part of their digital transformation strategy. Optimising the software and hardware of your systems is a great way to save money and work more efficiently.

There are a number of green computing tips and best practices that can be followed that can result in significant savings, both in terms of energy consumption and cost.

Start saving money today with these simple tips

The benefits of adopting a green computing strategy are clear. You will save money on your utility bills, your operations will be more efficient and you will fully utilise all equipment. Green computing is not exclusively reserved for large corporations and data centres servicing millions of people. It begins on the individual level with every single one of us. Here are some useful tips that each and every person could implement into their lives in order to adopt a green computing mindset.

  1. Repairing and reusing equipment – It is always significantly more expensive to create something new than it is to fix something old. The design and manufacturing process alone is extensive. Even if your equipment doesn’t meet your needs, as long as there’s still the possibility of repair, donate it to a person or organisation that might make use of it.

  2. Make a conscious effort to purchase refurbished equipment – Supply and demand are key: If more people are happy to buy refurbished equipment, then more and more equipment will be refurbished. It is cheaper than buying a brand new product, and they often come with warranties that guarantee you it’s a good quality, functioning product.

  3. Use power-saving modes – Reducing your screen’s brightness, setting it to power down after just a few minutes of inactivity, and reducing the CPU processing speeds when the requirement is less are all great ways to go green.

These common methods are easy to implement, but they make a huge difference both on an individual and societal level. Who wouldn’t want to save money on their energy bills by adopting a green strategy?

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