Information technology (IT) oversees consuming up to 10% of the world’s electricity generation, adding to CO2 emissions and high energy costs. As a result, energy-efficiency is considered as an important aspect that need to be considered at different IT disciplines. Generally, both hardware and software tracks need to be considered in the research about the IT energy consumption, more explicitly the focus should be on the IT fields that have a wide future application such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and big data.

Green computing or sustainable computing is related to the design, manufacture, use and disposal of computers, and all other technology components in a way that reduces the negative impact on the environment, including reducing carbon emissions and the energy consumed by manufacturers, data centers and end-users. Green computing also focuses on selecting sustainably sourced raw materials, reducing electronic waste, and encouraging sustainability by using renewable resources.

Many research efforts have been conducted in the field of green computing, mainly depending on the IT area in which the research was conducted, and there are many successful outcomes in this field, which contributed to building green systems and applications, taking into consideration the reduction of energy consumption to the lowest possible level.

In terms of computing devices, there are many efficient models designed and produced to follow the energy-efficiency recommendations. For example, ENERGY STAR-labeled computers use 30%-65% less energy comparing with computers without this designation. Additionally, many computers available today come with a sleep mode or power management feature. ENERGY STAR estimates that using these features will save you up to $30 each year on the electricity bills.

As example of the green computing applications in the software and specifically is in data mining services and recommender system, it is important to analyze the effects of the input dataset and how it can have an impact on the energy consumption level. For instance, a service not good at dealing with high-dimensional data may consume more energy than another service offering the same functionality. Therefore, when recommending such services, it is beneficial to consider dataset information in the recommendation process.

Another research dimension in this area is the design and build of database engine by considering the main factors that can affect the amount of energy consumed in one database type comparing with other type or even considering the differences in the amount of energy consumption in on database version and the other with the same database looking for the green database.

The main goal of green computing is to have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of energy consumed at different IT sectors and consequently reduce the CO2 emissions. Data centers and most of the big organizations nowadays are continuously looking for energy-efficient solutions moving towards the green computing goal to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. There are many untapped research questions in green computing research area such as defining the effects of the continuous huge expansion in the social media applications with massive number of users, in addition to the enormous amount of data size and type being produced and saved as results of the usage of these applications. These types of questions open the doors to the researcher to establish more research and trying to find answers to these valuable questions.

The green computing is considered as one of the most important areas of research for nowadays and for the future as it has a direct impact on the environment and eventually on human life and all living beings.

Perhaps climate change is the most significant example of the remnants of increased energy consumption, which, if not addressed properly and seriously, may lead to catastrophes with unimaginable consequences.

Authors Bio: Dr. Zainab Al-Zanbouri is working in cyber data analytics and development at RBC with extensive teaching experience. Working at different community colleges, she taught different computer courses such as Java, Python and Database design and modeling. Also, she supervised my students’ final projects. Her research area is focused on green computing, recommender systems and data mining.

Dr Al-Zanbouri holds the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Ryerson University – Canada. She has many peer-reviewed publications and has presented her research in many international conferences.