Gartner says the IT industry, along with consumer PCs and mobile devices, matches the aviation industry in carbon dioxide emissions
The global IT industry accounts for two per cent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions - the same amount the world's aviation industry churns out, according to analyst house Gartner.
The estimate is based on the amount of energy PCs, servers, cooling, fixed and mobile phone systems, LANs, office telecommunications and printers all use within the world's offices.
The estimate also includes all commercial and governmental IT and telecommunications infrastructures worldwide - but no consumer electronics other than mobiles and PCs.
Simon Mingay, research vice president at Gartner, said IT organisations will face increasing financial, environmental and legislative pressures to get more environmentally sustainable during the next five years.
Few IT management teams are aware of environmental and corporate social responsibilities policies already in place and have not mapped out the impact of the business' activities on the environment, Mingay added.
And the people buying technology for businesses do not fully understand the environmental impact and lifecycles of products and services because of a lack of commercial and legislative incentives, according to Garter.
But technology purchasers are beginning to factor in green measures. Garter predicts more than one-third of IT organisations will have one or more environmental criteria in their top six buying conditions by 2010.
Reducing energy consumptions and the use of hazardous substances throughout the lifecycle of a product or service and upping recycling efforts are key areas to help businesses buy greener, the analyst house said.