green IT (green information technology)

Contributor(s): Emily McLaughlin

Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of environmentally sustainable computing. 

Green IT aims to minimize the negative impact of IT operations on the environment by designing, manufacturing, operating and disposing of computers and computer-related products in an environmentally-friendly manner.The motives behind green IT practices include reducing the use of hazardous materials, maximizing energy efficiency during the product's lifetime and promoting the biodegradability of unused and outdated products.

The concept of green IT emerged in 1992 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program that helps organizations save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by identifying products that offer superior energy efficiency. Other components of green IT include the redesign of data centers and the growing popularity of virtualization, green networking and cloud computing.

See also: green computing, green cloud, green collar, green data center, greenwashing

This was last updated in December 2013

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