IBM is redirecting $1-billion (about R7-billion) per year across its businesses, mobilising the company’s resources to dramatically increase the level of energy efficiency in IT. The plan includes new products and services for IBM and its clients to sharply reduce data centre energy consumption, transforming the world’s business and public technology infrastructures into “green” data centres. 

The savings are substantial – for an average 25 000-square foot data centre, users should be able to achieve 42% energy savings. Based on the energy mix in the US, this saving equates to 7 439 tons of carbon emissions saved per year.
Called “Project Big Green,” IBM’s initiative targets corporate data centres where energy constraints and costs can limit their ability to grow. The initiative includes a new global “green team” of more than 850 energy efficiency architects from across IBM.
Today, according to analyst firm IDC, roughly 50 cents is spent on energy for every dollar of computer hardware. This is expected to increase by 54% to 71 cents over the next four years.
“The data centre energy crisis is inhibiting our clients’ business growth as they seek to access computing power,” says Mteto Nyati, director of global technology services at IBM South Africa.
“Many data centres have now reached full capacity, limiting a firm’s ability to grow and make necessary capital investments. Today we are providing clients the IBM action plan to make their data centres fully utilised and energy-efficient.”
IBM currently runs the world’s largest commercial technology infrastructure, with more than eight million square feet of data centres in six continents. By using the same energy efficiency initiatives it is offering clients today, IBM expects to double the computing capacity of its data centres within the next three years without increasing power consumption or its carbon footprint. Compared to doubling the size of its data centres by building out new space, IBM expects this will help save more than five-billion kilowatt hours of energy per year.