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Electronics Production | May 13, 2008

Electronics companies change focus

New statistics show that the technology industry produces the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as airplane.
Each year, these sectors emit 2% of total CO2 emissions, though there are signs that the ICT industry is changing, reports the bbc. "In fact, there has been a radical shift in the industry," insists Randy Allen, a vice-president at AMD.

However the companies start to shift focus. The previous performance oriented business strategy has also generated a need for ever increasing amounts of energy.

The fundamental problem, explains Jerome Riboulon, manager of Hewlett Packard's power and cooling solutions, is that this model works only as long as energy supplies are plentiful. "Data centres have begun to reach the physical limit of the energy they can use. Regardless of the questions about climate change, there simply is not enough available energy.”

Energy efficiency "is a question of fiscal responsibility", says Mr Allen. "It just makes good business sense." HP is reorganising its operations, by consolidating everything into 6 data centres worldwide. In 2005 the company maintained 85 such centres.

But if data centres use huge amounts of energy, this is only a fraction of the amount the sector is responsible for as a whole, warns Peter Madden, who heads Forum for the Future, a charity focused on sustainability issues. UN data suggests that the manufacture of one computer uses 75 times its weight in raw materials and water.

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