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Substituting computers for services - potential to reduce ICT's environmental footprint

  • Andrius Plepys
Publishing year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 217-222
Publication/Series: Electronics Goes Green 2004 (Plus): Driving Forces for Future Electronics, Proceedings
Document type: Conference paper
Publisher: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag

Abstract english

The environmental footprint of IT products are significant and, in spite of manufacturing and product design improvements, growing consumption of electronics results in increasing absolute environmental impact. Computers have short technological lifespan and a lot of the in-build performance, although necessary, remains idling for most of the time. Today, most of computers used in non-residential sectors are connected to networks. The premise of this paper is that computer networks are an untapped resource, which could allow addressing environmental impacts of IT products through centralising and sharing computing resources. The article presents results of a comparative study of two computing architectures. The first one is the traditional decentralised PC-based system and the second - centralised server-based computing (SBC) system. Both systems deliver equivalent functions to the final users and this can be compared on a one-to-one basis. The study evaluates product lifespan, energy consumption in user stage, product design and its environmental implications in manufacturing.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


International Congress and Exhibition on Electronics Goes Green 2004+
Andrius Plepys
E-mail: andrius [dot] plepys [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
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