Sustainability was a $35 billion industry in India last year: Gartner

Indian enterprises spent a whopping $35 billion on “green IT and sustainability” initiatives last year, market research agency Gartner said.

The number, comparable in size to the overall Indian domestic spending on IT itself, seems to indicate that green IT and sustainability have moved on from just being a fad or fashion.

Gartner said the number will double to $70 billion in 2015.

“Although still buzzwords for many, they will soon emerge as top priorities for businesses, investors and technology professionals across industries and policymakers in India,” Gartner said, releasing its “Hype Cycle for Green IT and Sustainability in India, 2011″ report.

The Hype Cycle reports from Gartner lays out a detailed chart of where technologies and solutions are in a ‘hype cycle’ — in other words, whether they are merely hype or whether they’ve reached a ‘mature’ stage.

“As enterprises embrace IT to improve productivity and drive growth, penetration of ICT infrastructure has been growing rapidly during the past decade, as has the energy consumption and resulting carbon emissions of India’s ICT infrastructure,” said Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research director at Gartner.

India is one of the fastest-growing markets for IT hardware and communications infrastructure and is an early adopter eco-friendly technologies, not least because of global concerns about climate change etc..

However, it is not only the technology industry which accounts for such spends.

Banking and financial services, hospitality, manufacturing (such as automobiles) and pharmaceuticals are some of the others who too have started investing in developing low-pollution, sustainable solutions. “In other industries, addressing energy, carbon, resource efficiency and sustainable economic development is currently still in the early stages,” Gartner said.

“Simultaneously, the operational cost of making energy-efficient resources available is pressuring CIOs in Indian companies to develop strategies to optimize ICT utilization — including companywide energy management — while not compromising on the growth or deployment of newer technologies,” Ramamoorthy added.

“We are already beginning to see the use of energy-efficient technology in data centers, manufacturing facilities and public buildings in India. While home energy management solutions in residences are still in the very early stages, they are increasingly tested in newly-built urban areas and gated communities,” he said.