Sustainability - Decarbonizing the Network

Technology and innovation has the most opportunity to reduce the carbon impact of the building network and support more sustainable spaces. Consideration for the Architecture and the Technology we use in the network to lower the total carbon impact of the network.

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There is still so much to do

The world’s residential and business structures account for nearly 40 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Within that environment, enterprise technology—which includes building and data center networks—emits about 350 to 400 megatons of CO2 annually, about 1 percent of global GHG emissionsi. Data centers alone account for about 1 percent of the world’s energy consumptionii.

i The green IT revolution: A blueprint for CIOs to combat climate change; McKinsey; September 15, 2022
ii 5 ways Big Tech could have big impacts on clean energy transitions; IEA; March 25, 2021

The world relies on enterprise technology more than ever. In terms of data processing, storage and transmission, our networks are immensely productive. Unfortunately, they are also profuse producers of things we don’t need.

 

Enterprise technology is responsible for:i

 

≈ 350 to 400 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) gas emissions

≈ 350 to 400 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) gas emissions

≈ 1 percent of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

≈ 1 percent of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

≈ 350 to 400 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) gas emissions

5 to 10 percent of total global GHG emissions from the industrial sector 

 

Within enterprise IT, the physical layer infrastructure is a significant contributor to the overall carbon footprint.

 

Power consumed by network switches, ghost ports

Power consumed by network switches, ghost ports

Inefficient use of cabling

Inefficient use of cabling

Increase in material waste related to cabling infrastructure

Increase in material waste related to cabling infrastructure

 

It’s hard to manage what you can’t see

The problem isn’t irresponsible network management, but a lack of visibility into the connected network environment. Without the ability to see and control your entire physical layer network, it’s tough to optimize port utilization, cabling infrastructure, energy consumption and the environmental impacts associated with each.

i The green IT revolution: A blueprint for CIOs to combat climate change; McKinsey; September 15, 2022

 

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