Home > Articles > CompTIA

An Overview of CompTIA’s Strata Green Program

In March 2010, CompTIA added the Green IT certification to its array of IT industry certifications and exams. This offering is one of three certifications currently included in CompTIA’s Strata Program, a line-up designed for those with skills or experience below their traditional starting point (A+, Network+, Security+ and more specialty exams). The Strata Program markets itself not only to students and new entrants to the IT industry looking to gain credibility and begin developing a portfolio of credentials, but also IT veterans looking to supplement their credentials with unique specialty certifications.
Like this article? We recommend

In March 2010, CompTIA added the Green IT certification to its array of IT industry certifications and exams. This offering is one of three certifications currently included in CompTIA’s Strata Program, a line-up designed for those with skills or experience below their traditional starting point (A+, Network+, Security+ and more specialty exams). The Strata Program markets itself not only to students and new entrants to the IT industry looking to gain credibility and begin developing a portfolio of credentials, but also to IT veterans looking to supplement their credentials with unique specialty certifications.

The first certification included in the Strata Program is IT Fundamentals. Requiring only a very fundamental familiarity with hardware and software components, security issues, and troubleshooting techniques, the exam serves as an adequate starting point for candidates to assess their knowledge and determine which areas need reinforcement before pursuing other certifications. Strata’s second offering, IT for Sales, takes a unique look at the IT industry by not only testing technical knowledge, but also the interpersonal skills required to interact with and satisfy customers.

Introducing the Green IT Certification

In this nine-part series, we will focus on the third certification added to CompTIA’s Strata program, Green IT. While environmentally-sound, or “green,” technology practices were first placed in the spotlight by the introduction of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, the topic has gained considerable interest from both individuals and businesses in recent years. Extending well beyond simply putting monitors in sleep mode or printing on both sides of paper, businesses of all sizes are now starting to employ a plethora of green practices throughout their IT operations. The Green IT certification targets the IT decision-makers of organizations of all sizes to validate their proficiency in the growing body of knowledge associated with running a more sustainable, efficient, and environmentally-friendly IT department.

Before we outline the objectives of the CompTIA Green IT exam and certification, let’s take a deeper look at the burgeoning trend of Green IT throughout the business world. Based on a 2009 survey of most upper-level IT professionals, CompTIA reports that 60 percent of organizations are already implementing Green IT strategies to cut costs and reduce their environmental footprint. The study revealed that economic and environmental factors were equally motivating in leading companies toward greener practices. Additionally, the study showed that 77 percent of organizations plan to launch full-fledged Green IT initiatives within the next five years. The entirety of the survey’s findings is detailed in a reported titled Green IT: Insights and Opportunities, available to CompTIA members at their online Member Resource Center.

Have the budding green efforts of IT departments affected perceptions of their respective companies? A 2009 study by MediaPost titled The Conscious Consumer Report reveals that green business practices are not going unnoticed[md]or unrewarded[md]by consumers. Sixty-seven percent of the study’s respondents stated that they considered purchasing products with positive social and environmental effects. This is an impressive indicator, considering the economic downturn of recent years that has made low prices an increasingly pressing influence in purchasing decisions. Furthermore, just over half of respondents said they were willing to pay more for products they considered to have a positive impact. To read the full results of The Conscious Consumer Report click here.

All these trends make two conclusions apparent. First, the demand for individuals who can bring an expertise in environmental responsibility to a company is growing. Second, those who do not become familiar with green strategies will soon be out-of-date with the needs of a majority of their prospective employers. For IT professionals, securing certification in Green IT early can help them become forerunners in the field, reinforce their value with current employers, and increase their attractiveness when entering the job market.

Part One of the Exam

The process of attaining Green IT certification begins with understanding the objectives of the certification exam and determining which areas require the most attention. The CompTIA Strata Green IT exam is comprised of two main sections[md]Green IT Techniques and Technologies and Green IT Policies and Standards[md]each of which are broken down into subcategories with multiple objectives. Section 1.1 assesses candidates on their ability to perform one of the simplest (but also most important) practices of Green IT: disposing of hazardous materials in an environmentally-sound manner. In 2007, The Environmental Protection Agency reported that only 18% of disposed computer products, about 48 million units, were recycled or disposed of properly. From batteries to motherboards to monitors, a number of toxic substances[md]such as mercury, lithium, and lead[md]are found in IT equipment and can pollute soil if thrown away in landfills. Making the switch to environmentally-responsible disposal techniques is an easily-implementable change for IT departments. As indicated by being the first category listed on CompTIA’s exam, it’s also a great place for companies to start their green initiatives.

A number of specific objectives concerning equipment disposal are listed under Section 1.1. Candidates are first expected to have an understanding of the general concepts of computer recycling: ways to reuse equipment in-house, and why recycling is important if reuse is not possible. The disposal of cathode ray tube (CRT) computers monitors, as well their replacement with LCD monitors, is next on the list of objectives. Candidates should be familiar with how and why batteries, toner and ink cartridges, cleaning supplies, and other materials that keep an IT department up and running should be safely handled.

Section 1.2 of the Green IT exam covers what may be the most talked-about aspect of the environmental tech world: power preservation. Again, many of the best practices tested in this section are easy changes to make and may already be implemented by many companies. Familiarity with power-saving features makes up the majority of this portion of the exam. Questions about screen brightness, sleep modes, and fan speeds are all included. In addition to power-saving settings, the more complex organizational practice of equipment consolidation is also covered. For questions such as these, candidates need to use a broader perspective of the organization as a whole to consider how implementing multi-functional devices and even consolidating vendors to reduce shipping emissions will affect the company and the environment.

Virtualization is the focus of Section 1.3. Interestingly, the Green IT exam tests candidates on their knowledge of not only the positive aspects but also the drawbacks of promoting a more virtualized IT environment. Yes, exam participants will see questions about best practices that lead to power reduction and costs savings through virtualization. They will, however, also need to be familiar with the potential problems associated with these practices, such as increased risk of network-wide failure and greater responsibility placed on the IT administration team that maintains the virtualized infrastructure.

The final section of Part One of the exam serves as a catch-all for a variety of other techniques and technologies that boost the green efforts of IT professionals. Included are small considerations such as duplex printing, converting to paperless documentation, and base-level questions about Energy Star rated products. Additionally, candidates should be prepared to be quizzed on the basics of green architecture and building set-ups, including energy-saving insulation, solar energy, and wind power.

Part Two of the Exam

Part Two of the exam makes up 20 percent of questions and uses a wider lens to look at the requirements of planning, implementing, and executing Green IT initiatives. While many of the practices and behaviors outlined in Part One may already be a part of an IT professional’s daily routine, Part Two will likely require more studying for most candidates. For instance, instead of simply asking how virtualization can reduce a company’s environmental impact, candidates must know how to calculate and assess the company’s existing carbon footprint and perform a full environmental audit to determine where improvements can be made. A number of questions are also included to test familiarity with the various organizations and standards (i.e., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Electronics Council and Agenda 21) that a professional will interact with while constructing a Green IT strategy.

Over the course of this nine-part series, we will provide a detailed look at each of these sets of objectives. Some of the topics covered may be elementary and seem like second nature, but many will also be new to most professional and require additional study before attempting the certification exam.

Sample Questions

In order to help prospective test-takers assess their own knowledge and identify which areas will need special focus as this series continues, we have included a brief list of sample questions and answers from various portions of the exam below.

  1. Which statement about active and passive heat-sink cooling is true?
    1. Passive heat-sinks accumulate more dust than active
    2. Passive heat-sinks are more prone to failure and system overheating
    3. Active heat-sinks use fans for additional cooling, while passive heat-sinks do not
    4. Active heat-sinks require less electricity for sustained use than passive
  2. Which of these is not a drawback of virtualization of IT equipment?
    1. Increased network traffic within a single node
    2. Increased initial investment
    3. Increased licensing costs
    4. Increased administrative duties
  3. The European Community directive 2002/96/EC is also known as what?
    1. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive
    2. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive
    3. Agenda 21
    4. ISO 21931
  4. Which of these is not considered a suitable energy-efficient display method?
    1. Using a shared thin client
    2. Using a shared terminal
    3. Using desktop sharing software
    4. Using a traditional high-speed graphics processing unit
  5. If a desktop computer consumer 200 watts of power per hour and is left running 24 hours per day, how much power is it consuming daily?
    1. 0.48 kilowatt-hours per day
    2. 4.8 kilowatt-hours per day
    3. 48 kilowatt-hours per day
    4. 480 kilowatt-hours per day

Answers to Sample Questions

  1. C
  2. C
  3. B
  4. D
  5. B

In the next installment, a detailed analysis of objective 1.1: environmentally sound disposal techniques.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020