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Carbon Matters Print
July 2008

Carbon Zero is a newly coined phrase to describe the situation that a particular business or activity does not release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, or that the release is offset by buying carbon credits.  Before we look at the trading of carbon credits, we attempt to collect some information below to build up a better perspective on matters related to the release of carbon dioxide in the PC and IT industry.

Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI)- An IT industry effort

By 2010, CSCI expects to achieve a 50% reduction in power consumption by computers. We can reduce global CO2 emissions from the operation of computers by 54 million tons a year; that’s like taking 11 million cars off the road each year.

Some facts and figures for building up a more complete perspective:

 - 1KWh = 1.43 lbs of CO2 based on fossil power plant
 - One car produces 11560 lb per year
 - One acre of trees absorb 7333 lb per year (les than produced by one car)
 - Global servers consumed 123 billion KWH in 2006 and produced 176 billion lb of CO2
 - Global Temperature went up 0.7C over the last century
 - All data centres collectively consumed less than 1% of total US electricity in 2000 and will rise to 2.3% by 2010
 - Producing a kilogram of beef is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those emitted by an average European car driving for 250km and uses energy equivalent to lighting a 100W bulb for 20 days.  Source: Engineering & Technology 21 June Page 18
 -  Homes collectively account for 27% of carbon output of UK total currently.  Source: Engineering & Technology "chasing the dream" July 2008

Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) which is a gas used in the making of flat screen televisions is being blamed for damaging the atmosphere and accelerating global warming.  Almost half of the televisions sold around the globe so far this year have been plasma or LCD TVs.  The gas is estimated to be 17,000 times as powerful as carbon dioxide.  Source: The Main Report Business 14 June 2008 page 3