The Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation of the U.K.’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has challenged the IT industry to prevent further climate change with the official launch of the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centers on November 19.
The Code of Conduct was created in response to increasing energy consumption in data centers and the need to reduce the related environmental, economic and energy supply impacts. It was developed with collaboration from the British Computer Society, AMD, APC, Dell, Fujitsu, Gartner, HP, IBM, Intel, and many others.
Those who choose to abide by the voluntary Code of Conduct will have to implement energy efficiency best practices, meet minimum procurement standards, and report energy consumption every year.
The UK is also the first country in the world to approve legally binding climate change laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; data centers in the U.K. are responsible for about 3% of electricity use, and the goal is an 80% reduction in greenhouse gasses by 2050.
America is far behind Europe with climate change policies, but it looks like it might finally be getting its act together in terms of protecting the planet. Climate change legislation and carbon emission regulations promise to become a reality under President-elect Barack Obama, who has pledged to enact global-warming legislation.
Unfortunately, the legislation would impose a cap-and-trade system on utility companies that could raise the price of power an estimated 20% across the board, so getting as efficient as possible before the legislation takes effect would be a wise move.
To that end, vendors have come up with highly efficient servers and lower watt CPUs that perform just as well as their higher power predecessors. There is also software to control power consumption and to cap server power usage, and finally reliable virtualization software to increase server utilization, so there really are no excuses for running under-utilized systems these days (and if there are excuses, I’d love to hear them).