Cows, computers and carbon

I admit that we are as guilty as any commentator on ‘green issues’ of quoting statistics such as how IT contributes 2% of the world’s carbon emissions (but can contribute to saving 10x the emissions it generates by driving greater operational efficiencies and reducing unnecessary travel through flexible and mobile working).

Now, according to the UN, another major culprit is cows – read the report on how rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars. Clearly, it is not an acceptable solution to cull cattle and eat more burgers and steaks.

What these ‘single issue’ statistics reveal is that the challenge of reducing carbon emissions needs a holistic not a piecemeal approach if long-term significant reductions are to be achieved. 

Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Strategist, Rob Bernard, addresses exactly this point in a video where he explains the steps that Microsoft is taking to improve the environmental sustainability of a company of 80,000 employees – from improving the power management capabilities of our software through reducing the power requirements of our datacentres by 50% in three years to rolling out one of the world’s largest private bus networks, thus eliminating 25,000 employee commuting miles each and every day.

Posted by Dan

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