An increasingly consolidated and energy efficient IT infrastructure could play a major part in cutting emissions, according to a recent report.
Research firm Boston Consulting Group said that green IT programmes could provide savings of 13 to 22 per cent on total US emissions by 2020.
A reduction in emissions on this scale would account for as much as $240bn (£161bn) in savings on energy costs, the research suggests.
The savings would come from more efficient datacentres, reduced vehicle emissions due to telecommuting and lower office energy needs.
Telecommuting and virtual meetings could account for $20bn to $40bn (£13bn to £27bn) worth of savings, while increased efficiency in office buildings through more efficient IT and better design could save $40bn to $50bn (£27bn to £33bn).
New software and hardware systems, meanwhile, could manage power grids and transportation systems more efficiently, according to the research.
The SMART 2020 study (PDF) was issued as an addendum to a June study by Boston Consulting Group, which estimated that the IT industry could save an amount of carbon emissions greater than the current outputs of the US and China combined by 2020.
Energy efficiency had become a top priority for enterprise IT departments in recent years. Once seen as a way to improve a company's image and status, a g reen technology programme has become a major economic boost in the face of carbon emissions standards and rising energy costs.
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