Just as Steve Jobs was polishing the final draft of his defense of Apple’s environmental programs, computer industry analyst firm Gartner announced to the world its findings about Global IT’s carbon footprint. It’s not good.

As an industry, information technology accounts for 2 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, placing it in the same club as the aviation industry.

The causes are numerous, including increasing power consumption, use of refrigerator-like cooling systems, even emissions from everyday computer displays. Gartner also uses this finding as a “wake up call” to geeks throughout the land.

Simon Mingay, research vice president at Gartner, said IT organisations will face increasing financial, environmental and legislative pressures to get more environmentally sustainable during the next five years.

Few IT management teams are aware of environmental and corporate social responsibilities policies already in place and have not mapped out the impact of the business’ activities on the environment, Mingay added.

Source: BusinessWeek.