Thorunn Egilsdottir
Corporate Communication Manager
29th July 2022

How to enhance Green IT?

Can we make our IT consumption green again? Nathalie Thielemans, Managing Director at OXiane and Valérie Viatour, Expert Consultant & Trainer on Green IT provide five useful tips on how we can decrease our ecological footprint.

1. Does Green IT slow down global warming?

Valérie: Yes, the purpose of Green IT is to slow down global warming as it  helps to preserve the environment.  When traveling is replaced by video conferences, home working or connected glasses, the impact is very positive and we can talk about Green IT. Another example of IT for Green is the refurbishing of hardware to extend the life of assets. All manufactured products need materials and energy producing high CO2 emissions. But there are many ways to make IT green again. The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to optimise the usage of IT. For each project, IT managers should evaluate carbon emissions relative to carbon gains. The way things are now, every company should integrate sobriety into its strategy.

2. Can you provide an example of Green IT?

Nathalie: Take OXiane, for example. The Covid situation changed the way we provide courses. Although we still organise courses in our offices in Windhof, we now offer them remotely as well. Video conferences for our students translate into less travels (for both our trainers and students) as well as less traffic jams. In terms of Green It, we keep PCs for our classroom, using VM for the exercises. An important contribution to Green IT is the fact that we do not buy new PCs while the older ones are still very efficient. In addition, we have transformed all the logistic for our Training Center. Our evaluations and attendance sheets are completed electronically and our training material is sent by e-mail . They are no longer printed.

3. What about water and energy waste compared to conventional technologies?

Valérie: I am afraid that I cannot provide an accurate answer as there are too many parameters to take into consideration. You are right, numbers need to be provided and all steps need to be analysed (transportation, manufacturing, usage, repair, scrapping). Green IT could take into account one or many steps. Let me give you an example. A device may be designed according to Green IT, but it could be overused. This cannot be considered green anymore. In other words: currently, no one can master the entire value chain.

Nathalie: In terms of energy waste I can give you our example at OXiane. In order to consume less electricity, we are currently putting in place Live Virtual Classes, allowing us to use virtual machines instead of large servers.

4. What are the disadvantages of Green IT?

Valérie: As with all technologies, the main disadvantage is the Jevons paradox, or “rebound effect”. It occurs when technological progress increases efficiency but also increases use and resource consumption. Meaning that the additional consumption might exceed the savings. The Jevons paradox will most probably occur when 5G will replace 4G. The new superfast internet will not only increase data traffic but it will lead to a yet unquantified supply (and demand) in new materials.

Nathalie: Still, 5G will reduce our connexion problems. For us at OXiane it means that our our Live Virtual Classes become more effective.

5. Whether at home or in the office: what are your five tips in order to follow Green IT practices?

5 useful tips: 

1. The « 5 Rs » rule : reduce, refuse, repair, reuse, recycle.

2. Buy sustainable devices only.

3. Use devices for a long time.

4. Adapt devices to the usage.

5. Use a smaller screen.

About the blog:


There is an urgent need for rapid transition to global sustainability. Business and industry have enormous social and environmental impacts. "Why does it matter?" is a bi-monthly blog that aims to elucidate this important topic through the eyes of our experts. 

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