The Green IT Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Swiss Informatics Society met yesterday (29/10/14) in Zurich. ZKB kindly hosted the event. A full meeting report will probably appear on the group’s website, but here we just capture some of our reflections on the group’s work.

This was our second time to attend the group meetings. It attracts a very interesting cross-section of folks who have an interest in both making IT systems more energy efficient as well as some folks who want to use IT systems to make other vertical more energy efficient.

The group is led by the very active and engaging Klaus Meyer who does a fantastic job of defining the strategy and direction of the group, representing the group to interested parties, running the group meetings and generally banging the Green IT drum.

The meeting is attended by a diverse mix of folks including Data Centre folks who are interested in increasing energy efficiency in Data Centres – these include folks from some of the financial and insurance sector in Switzerland. There are also academics who are interested in energy efficiency from different perspectives. There are also consultants and small companies who are active in the space. All in all, the group has a very interesting and healthy mix of interesting perspectives which leads to interesting discussions.

At this week’s meeting the host ZKB gave a presentation on how energy efficiency is very important in their IT systems and they talked about how they have managed to achieve very significant savings in their operations by using advanced DC design, largely focused on cooling and airflow issues. This was followed by a very interesting presentation by the guys from Born Green Technologies on a system they are working on which supports understanding of the energy consumption of the IT systems within an organization, mostly focused on the equipment on people’s desks – phones, computers, monitors etc. – and described a case study they performed with a mid-size client in which they were able to obtain 25% savings on their energy bill.

The group is receiving increasing interest – there is a so-called Antenna group being formed in La Suisse Romande – and we’re sure it will go from strength to strength in the coming years. From our point of view, we’re very happy to be associated with it and will continue to contribute as it grows.