The widespread use of thin client systems and effective desktop virtualization solutions could help cut the carbon footprint of the IT industry.
According to new research conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute (FI), using thin clients as part of an integrated virtual desktop environment can cut a company's carbon footprint by as much as 63 per cent when compared with firms that use traditional desktop PCs.
In a case study at a Dutch healthcare centre, which adopted VMware's View desktop virtualization solution, the FI noted that IT infrastructure-related carbon emissions dropped by 47 per cent.
The study looked at emissions over the course of the technology's entire lifecycle, showing that desktop virtualization has both short-term and long-term benefits.
Christian Knermann, deputy head of IT management at the FI, said: "Our conclusion from the study is that thin clients are definitely more environmentally-friendly and cost effective than the desktop PC."
Recently, John Matthews, F5 Networks' chief information officer, claimed that server virtualization can also slash firms' carbon footprints and the environmental benefits of the technology are often overlooked, according to Forbes.com.