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ICT energy and carbon footprinting tool

About this toolkit

Subject areas
Green ICT, environment
Technology Platform
Excel 2003 (Word based instructions)
Conditions of use
Results must be reported back to Sustainable Information Technology In Tertiary Education (SusteIT) (Can be done confidentially if required)
Free to download from legacy site
Date of original release
Date of last known update
Current status
Not supported


Summary of stated purpose


The aim of the guide and Excel tool produced by SusteIT is to help Further and Higher Education institutions (FEIs/HEIs) estimate the in-use energy consumption, costs and carbon footprint of their non-residential ICT usage.


The tool uses three variables to calculate an energy footprint:


  1. Numbers of devices
  2. Power consumption data for individual types of device (watts, either measured or taken from manufacturer’s data)
  3. Usage data of devices in a FEIs/HEIs setting (hours/year)


This in turn is used to estimate energy costs and carbon emissions associated with ICT usage. The final results are designed to provide a reasonable estimate of the overall magnitude of electricity/carbon used. They should be seen as a first step to highlight areas of high energy usage within the ICT estate, or areas of uncertainty where further work is required to refine the data.


Output types


Quantitative and qualitative 

 A user guide for the ICT Energy and Carbon Footprinting tool contains details of assumptions and calculations used in the tool. An Excel spreadsheet helps estimate the energy and carbon footprint of an institution's ICT estate. The tool can be used in 2 ways:


  1. A 'quick and simple' method which only requires a (estimated) number for each of the different types of ICT device. The spreadsheet then uses default assumptions of power ratings and usage to estimate the total energy consumption (kWh/y), energy costs (£) and carbon dioxide emissions (kg/kWh) of the ICT devices
  2. The 'thorough' (and more accurate) method. This enables users to enter institution-specific data on the power rating of equipment, and typical usage hours. Outputs include breakdown of energy use in: High Performance Computing, Servers, PCs, Networks, Telephony, Imaging and AV


Supporting evidence


Produced by the SusteIT project and funded by JISC. It is co-managed by the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI) project and SustainIT, an NGO (see www.heepi.org.uk and www.sustainit.org). This is now a legacy site for the 2008-9 strategic review of green IT in UK further and higher education which was commissioned by JISC, and conducted by HEEPI. A worked example from University of Sheffield is provided. A separate spreadsheet contains a summary of the results to date, from case study universities and colleges who have used the tool, broken down by category.


URL http://www.susteit.org.uk/files/category.php?catID=4