How much do your IT emission figures figure?

An emissions calculator for the information and communication technology industry has been unveiled by the Canadian team behind the GreenStar Network project. Created in 2010, the project set up five data centres to run on solar, wind or water energy, and has monitored the resulting emissions produced by these centres. The Calgary solar-powered data centre is managed by Cybera, with the University of Calgary's Grid Research Centre aiding in the subsequent analysis.

The carbon measurement protocol developed by the team at GreenStar Network outlines achievable emissions reductions for information and communication technologies, industries that are looking for viable ways to scale back their emissions. The new online calculator based on this protocol is expected to aid IT projects in qualifying for carbon credits.

As the world continues to become more plugged in and tuned on to the Internet, the resources required to power its websites continues to expand (along with the greenhouse gas emissions they create). This is quickly leading to the information and communication technology industry becoming one of the biggest carbon emitters on the planet. Developing energy-efficient data centres, able to run on renewable energy, will be key for the continued growth and survival of the Internet.