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Audi’s new Ingolstadt computer center, which opens this summer, boasts lower CO2 emissions (Photo: Audi)

Green IT is on the rise, according to a survey conducted by German IT consultants Devoteam.

The survey, which included responses from 270 companies in 22 European countries, found that 78 pc of those polled considered green IT an issue that needs to be taken seriously for the long run. In a similar poll last year, only 67 pc expressed a similar sentiment.

Of the companies interviewed, 67 pc already have started a green IT program.

"The third edition of the European Devoteam study confirms a growing environmental awareness and underscores the development of green IT in companies of all sizes," said Guenther Pfleger, a senior Devoteam executive.

Green IT generally refers to efforts and programs to reduce the environmental footprint of IT and boost its contribution to a company's sustainability programs.

In the auto industry, carmakers have stepped up efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of their operations by introducing green IT. Audi's new computer center at its Ingolstadt headquarters, is part of a plan to reduce CO2 emissions of the company's three computer centers by a third.

Devoteam found a large discrepancy between the level of understanding big and smaller companies have of green IT. Among bigger corporations, only 4 pc cited shortcomings in their knowledge, but 77 pc of small and medium-sized companies said they were not sufficiently informed about green IT.

Companies expressed increased interest in energy management, with a growing number citing server virtualization as a key project.

Devoteam said more companies are actively reducing the energy consumption of desktop computers. European companies are also stepping up efforts to separate waste and use more recycled paper.

However, they showed little commitment to the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment, with 40 pc of those polled saying they didn't have a program in place for this.

According to the study, 64 pc of companies interviewed are using conference calls to reduce business travel, while 53 pc said they are users of videoconferencing technology. Devoteam cited a World Wildlife Fund study that found that 50 pc of corporate CO2 emissions result from business travel.