An Environmental Lesson from the Airline Industry has an article “The Wild Green Yonder”, substituting Green for what was Blue.

Some points we should learn from for a Green Data Center.

Sustainability is the new buzzword at Farnborough this year, and it is echoing as loud as the planes screaming by overhead.

"It's a matter for survival," Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the International Air Transport Association, said at an environmental conference Wednesday.

With global air traffic expected to swell in coming years, government regulators, including the European Commission, are applying pressure to make planes quieter, cleaner and more efficient, and threatening penalties if they fall short.

"Our customers are under hellish pressures to come up with improvements," said Tom Williams, an Airbus executive vice president.

There are no cheap or easy solutions. Lighter materials, new fuels and other innovations that promise to make planes more environmentally friendly mean more expense and development time. That includes the billions that engine makers are spending to develop new products.

All that could make it hard for the manufacturers to offer the discounts that their big customers have come to expect, potentially wiping out the savings that such planes might offer.

"It's a bitter split," said Williams of Airbus.

Bisignani said the industry was late to realize it needed to do more to stress its environmental credentials, leaving it open for attacks from environmental groups and threats of new taxes from Europe and elsewhere.

This same problem can hit Data Centers when environmental groups and gov’t start thinking data centers should be taxed and regulated.

Some people deny the problem and until recently.

Some executives here said the criticisms were unfounded. "Aviation should not be treated as a pariah," Tony Tyler, chief executive of Cathay Pacific, said at the environmental conference. "Everybody understands our obligations. Everyone is taking it very seriously."

The new focus this year is in sharp contrast to the Farnborough show in 2006, when Boeing's technology experts insisted in staff meetings that it was impossible to develop fuels that could substitute for the kerosene that powers jets.

Now, Boeing is conducting tests with four airlines--Virgin Atlantic, Japan Air Lines, Air New Zealand, and Continental--to see what may work best as an alternative fuel. British Airways, meanwhile, has invited energy producers to bring it fuels that it will test in laboratory conditions, its chief executive, Willie Walsh, said here.

Much of what is discussed can be used to describe the mindset of IT professionals, but hopefully the data center industry will not make the mistakes the airline industry has.  Even Blue IBM has changing its image to be Green.