Analyst firm Gartner has accused some of the companies involved in the recently announced Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) of taking part more to boost their green credentials than to effectively tackle climate change.
“We believe the underlying reason some of the vendors are supporting the initiative is that it gives the impression they are being proactive in tackling climate change, thus increasing their green credentials. An advantage of supporting this kind of initiative for these vendors is that it distracts attention away from some of their existing environmental challenges,” Gartner said.
The CSCI, which includes Google, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Lenovo, HP and others, has promised to reduce PC power consumption worldwide by half by 2010.
The group has joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund and has set a new 90pc efficiency target for power supplies which, if achieved, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year and save more than US$5.5bn in energy costs, it is claimed.
Gartner said while it believes this initiative will contribute to reductions in IT power consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, improvements in power supply efficiency would have happened anyway. It noted that a significant part of the initiative revolves around education and awareness, the effectiveness of which will be hard to measure.
Gartner recommended that any future labelling of products should be integrated with existing programs like Energy Star or the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) to avoid eco-labelling confusion.
The analyst firm suggested that PC users continue to question the IT vendors and service providers supporting it about what they themselves are doing to reduce energy consumption, to look for equipment that meets the suggested criteria and make best use of available power management tools.
“The initiative is a step forward for the industry but the initiative, its members and the industry have a long way to go yet. Enterprises should continue to challenge the members of the initiative to demonstrate their environmental credentials,” Gartner concluded.
By Niall Byrne