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04.02.2012 / FLASH / FRANCE

Sustainable Development Week in France - The growth in Green IT

Developing our business lines while controlling costs requires ever more efficient infrastructure. These requirements go hand-in-hand with new technology and new behaviour, including growing awareness of "Green IT"Green IT" refers to all IT hardware, services and processes that reduce the environmental impact of computing by applying a sustainable approach, including maximising energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and managing waste responsibly. This approach aims to improve the energy efficiency of IT equipment and thereby reduce IT costs.".

Description of several environmentally-responsible initiatives being followed at Crédit Agricole CIB.

Making use of new optimised technologies

"Cloud computing" involves using virtualised, shared IT resources to reduce the number of servers and the energy footprint of data centres.

At Crédit Agricole CIB, around 35% of the 4,200 eligible servers have been virtualised using VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V software. Using a virtual machine instead of a physical machine reduces electricity consumption. "We are aiming for 80% within two years," states Pierre Dulon, Head of Global IT.

"Grid computing" involves sharing available processors across a group of servers to deliver increased computing power. At Crédit Agricole CIB, grid computing has enabled us to eliminate over 2,000 servers from our data centres, producing projected energy savings of 7 million KwH in 2012. This rationalisation was based on three key initiatives:

  • optimisation and fine-tuned distribution of processes on computing platforms,
  • the replacement of defunct servers with new, more powerful and more energy-efficient models,
  • for some applications, graphics processing unit (GPU) based technology is replacing "traditional" processors for regulatory comprehensive risk calculations. "Programming has been adapted to these GPUs. The calculations require around ten servers, one-tenth of what would have been needed if we had opted for traditional processors," says Pierre Dulon. "We are looking into the possibility of generalising this method."
Responsible IT management

Energy consumption is also minimised across all our workstations and all our computer screens have the Energy Star label.

Since 2010, the Bank has reduced the number of printers by 20% by replacing individual units with shared printers on each floor and by changing default settings (black ink only, using both sides of the paper). Paper and ink consumption have fallen by 25%.

Responsible recycling

Computers are sorted according to their condition:
  • if they are still in working order, they are sold to an ISO 14001-certified broker to be reused,
  • otherwise they are recycled by APR2, a workshop specialised in the employment of disabled workers, which has developed a technique for recycling plastic which means that 97%-99% of a computer can be recycled.
In six months, over three tonnes of obsolete hardware has been recycled. Around one hundred desktop computers and nearly 800 mobile devices (Blackberry and smartphone models) were processed by the broker in 2011.

Green IT is a key component of Crédit Agricole CIB's commitment to environmental sustainability.

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