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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


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.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronics Goes Green 2004 (Plus): Driving Forces for Future Electronics, Proceedings
PublisherFraunhofer IRB Verlag
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
EventInternational Congress and Exhibition on Electronics Goes Green 2004+ - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 2004 Sep 62004 Sep 8


ConferenceInternational Congress and Exhibition on Electronics Goes Green 2004+