Green IT – Sustainability
Expert report for the Enquete Commission of the German Bundestag
“Green IT” refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and their application which, taking into account the entire product life cycle, leads to a significant reduction in the burden on the environment compared to previous solutions. In order to obtain an up-to-date scientific overview of the potential uses of ICT solutions and the resources they require, the Enquete Commission Internet and Digital Society of the German Bundestag commissioned the Borderstep Institute in 2012 to produce an expert report showing the connections between ICT use and the demand for natural resources.
The aim of the report was to identify, forecast and analyze the resource requirements necessary for the use of ICT and to support this with statistically reliable figures. It was also intended to discuss options and measures for reducing resource requirements while at the same time continuing the global expansion of the Internet infrastructure.
The expert report forecasts a significant increase in resource consumption in Germany by 2020, despite significant advances in efficiency at the level of individual ICT devices and in networks and data centers. Recommendations for action in the report ranged from the establishment of a national Green IT monitoring system to joint initiatives by companies and the state in the areas of office computing and data centers to the definition of specific reduction targets for Germany.