A new forum to educate and assist UK businesses in reducing carbon emissions from energy used by IT has been launched this week.

The Green Technology Initiative is an industry led project aimed at providing a knowledge resource for IT managers and directors wishing to improve the environmental impact of their IT infrastructure.

According to analyst firm Gartner, the energy from manufacturing, distribution and use of information and communications technology emits approximately 2% of total global carbon dioxide, equal to the emissions from the airline industry. The Green Technology Initiative will act as a forum for businesses to find out how to reduce their IT carbon footprint from those with expert knowledge and experience.

Concentrating on the environmental impact of powering, cooling and operating IT equipment, it will educate and demonstrate how companies can change working practices, improve the efficiency of devices and use existing technology to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions.

"The Green Technology Initiative is focused on education and about being green today, not tomorrow," said Dan Sutherland, founder and acting chair of the Green Technology Initiative. "This is not about offsetting or costly restructuring; it is about tackling the core problem and successfully reducing energy consumption in IT.”

Sutherland added that, under the principle of 'green by design,' the initiative will educate and share IT efficiency and infrastructure design best practice, “so that IT directors will be able to invest in IT that's smart for their business, as well as smart for the planet," he said.

The initiative is recruiting members from within the IT and energy communities over the coming months to assist in creating the knowledge base. Founding members include Carrenza, Cisco, EDF Energy, Global Crossing and Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive.