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Government & Green IT

6:00 PM -- Judging by the emails that have landed in my inbox over the last few months, you could be forgiven for thinking that storage and server vendors are leading a crusade to save the planet from environmental destruction. (See Hitachi Ships Small Drives, ONStor Joins Green Movement, HP Cuts Power & Cooling, IBM Keeps AISO.Net Green, Pillar Pushes Provisioning, Capacity, and PowerFile Joins Green Grid.)

Users the world over are apparently clamoring to overhaul their data centers, slashing power and heating costs as they go. (See Beating the Heat in IT, Users Voice Cooling Concerns, and Google Goes Green in Iowa.) Or are they? A recent survey by the U.K.'s Green Technology Initiative found that our counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic are maybe not as environmentally friendly as we may think. (See UK Businesses Not So Green.)

Despite the ongoing rattle and hum about green issues, nearly 70 percent of businesses have no target for reducing their carbon footprints, according to the study. Instead, U.K. users are looking to their technology suppliers and the government to shoulder the responsibility for reducing emissions.

At this stage, there are no specific emissions standards for data centers on this side of the Atlantic either, although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently laying down some tentative guidelines. This month the EPA will issue its report on data center and server energy efficiency, projecting near-term growth in energy use, as well as assessing potential incentives and voluntary programs for users to reduce their carbon footprints.

Some limited, vendor-led, efforts are already underway in this space, such as MAID vendor Copan's financial incentive scheme for customers in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). (See Copan Pushes Power Savings, SNW: First Take, Pillar Pushes Provisioning, Capacity, and Big Blue Launches Big Green.)

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