Of the major paradigm shifts in science and technology, focus on sustainability has gone from being an alternative to an imperative to our existence. The need for building environmentally and socially sustainable computing systems is important to protect our resources and to build a safe virtual environment to the generation that is growing up in the era of the internet. Green computing is making computing sustainable. It encompasses everything from the safety of our social media accounts to the cumulative power consumed by our computers. It is concerning to think of what the future might behold.
As is the case of any discussion on sustainability, green computing can also be studied as three sub-categories: environmental, social and economic. In context of environmental sustainability of computing we consider increasing the longevity of the device, reducing power consumption and power management. Developments like nano- level magnetic wires, dark-mode, newer display technologies like OLED, cloud computing, edge computing, solid state drives came about to reduce the power consumption of the devices. Optimising the computer programs has also gained importance. Recycling and upcycling of materials is being practiced as cradle-to-cradle and zero waste policies are being adopted.
The social aspect of green computing relates to safety of our information and the effects of being overly dependent on computers. The cyber-space needs regulation of its content and we must also remember that being a responsible user or programmer is an equally important duty.
The corporate sector plays a vital role in implementing all these into real world problems. This is where economic sustainability comes into our discussion. Studies conducted in the Indonesian corporate sector indicate that opting for green computing has aided in economical benefits. Corporate social responsibilities strengthen consumer bonds too.
As we continue our search for greener computing, let’s remember Dan Brown’s words from his novel, Origin:“May our philosophies keep pace with our technologies. May our compassion keep pace with our powers.And may love, not fear, be the engine of change." And may that change be pitched towards a greener and more sustainable tommorow.