Carbon Taxes Force IT Changes

February 28, 2011 International FinanceNew Zealand Taxation

The Planet Data CenterData centers and IT operations across Australia and New Zealand will soon need to face a heavy overhaul and upgrade, in order to address the possibility of a new carbon tax.

At the Kickstart Forum held over the weekend in Queensland, representatives of IT companies in Australia and New Zealand indicated that the possibility of carbon taxes is causing a reevaluation of the operation and planning of datacenter.

Carbon levies have been debated heavily in New Zealand and Australia throughout 2010, leading analysts to predict that some form of emissions taxation will be implemented by both countries’ governments in 2011 or 2012. It is estimated that data centers across the world currently account for 1.5 percent of all emissions, a level on par with the airline industry. The significant level of emissions is swaying IT professionals to consider investing in low-power consumption devices and tools, to preemptively address raised power costs following the carbon tax.

Paul Harapin, managing director of VMWare in Australia and New Zealand, spoke at the conference, saying that his company has long been associated with environmentally-aware IT solutions, but the possibility of upcoming carbon taxes is bringing up a new level of eco-consciousness. He added that the issue of minimizing the carbon footprint and carbon tax liabilities of large firms’ IT operations and data centers will soon be a prominent issue faced by chief information officers across Australia and New Zealand.

Representatives of power supply and cooling equipment for data centers who were present at the forum also indicated that their companies are releasing products in anticipation of a new demand for lower power consumption, in an attempt to address the new taxes. David Scott, managing director of Emerson Network Power, revealed that the company is currently working on a data center infrastructure management tool, which will allow companies to reduce their power buffer levels, significantly slashing their potential tax bill.

Photo by The Planet