Everyone is aware of the impact technology has on the way we live, and most people know that as the Internet of Things (IoT) gathers momentum a further transformation will happen. Smart cars, smart appliances, smart buildings, and smart clothing are just some of the things that promise to enhance our lives, and at the same time the soft aspects of life like medical, educational, financial, and legal services are being transformed by the application of big data. Fewer people understand that the 'the cloud' is in fact a world embracing network of physical servers, most of them located in data centres.
Fewer still have any idea what data centres are or even where they are: certainly not the amount of power they use. Ten years ago, they used an imperceptible proportion of electricity consumption: today they account for some three percent of global electricity supply and two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Ten years from now that is expected to reach ten percent.
Advice and consultation
Lee Stewart has been leading Fujitsu's strategy to make sustainability a part of its DNA for the last five years. As Head of Sustainability for the Oceania region, he is part of a large sustainability team within the global company. He does a lot of consultancy work with Fujitsu's clients, which include large swathes of Australia's public sector, financial services, retail (it's Fujitsu that keeps the point of sale services going for some of Australia’s major retailers) and the national airline Qantas.
With that hat on he supports these clients' environmental performance targets. “When doing consulting work we benchmark to see where they stand, and look for the quick wins first,” he says. “Sometimes that's just a policy change or putting in a power meter. Or checking the actual power consumption of equipment like laptops against the manufacturer's claim before purchasing.