Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sustainable IT Metrics and Tools

The EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research have released "Getting Serious About Sustainable IT: Metrics, Tools, and Solutions". This short 12 page (139 kbyte PDF) document gives a useful list of tools and techniques for estimating the greenhouse gas emissions and other enviornmental effects of computers and telecommunications. Educause's remit is in the education field, but the resources listed here are generally applicable to companies and government agencies:

Getting Serious About Sustainable IT: Metrics, Tools, and Solutions

Title:Getting Serious About Sustainable IT: Metrics, Tools, and Solutions (ID: ERB0914)
Author(s):Thomas L. Franke (University System of New Hampshire), Nancye Jenkins (University of New Hampshire) and David Harper Wilson (University of New Hampshire)
Topics:carbon footprint, Data Centers, Green IT, Metrics, ROI, Sustainability, Technology Lifecycles, Technology Selection
Origin:ECAR, Research Bulletins (07/14/2009)
Type:Articles, Papers, and Reports

This ECAR This research bulletin provides a review of current tools and metrics for assessing IT sustainability and green initiatives. It evaluates current measurement tools and proposes conceptual models of tools that are needed. It is intended to pave the way for institutional discussions about topics such as:

  • What is the life cycle use and carbon impact of various types of computing hardware?
  • Of the many suggestions for reducing environmental impact, how can we determine which are most effective? In other words, what is the ROI, in terms of reduced impact, of our technology choices?
  • What information is currently available to guide technology leaders, and how specific and useful is it?
  • What additional information or tools will be needed for our community to make responsible and effective decisions to promote “sustainability” in computing?

Citation for this work: Franke, Thomas L., Nancye Jenkins, and David Harper Wilson. “Getting Serious About Sustainable IT: Metrics, Tools, and Solutions” (Research Bulletin, Issue 14). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2009, available from

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