Microsoft is "…making the commitment to become carbon neutral beginning with our Fiscal Year 2013 (which begins July 1st )." Top-down enterprise initiatives can founder on local accountability, as when IT departments do not pay their data centers' electric bills. Microsoft is trying to avoid such pitfalls with the internal equivalent of a carbon tax. the 'tax' money is being invested in carbon offset and renewable energy initiatives.
Apple attracted attention in 2012 because its iPad was so tightly assembled that it was not easily recycled. Now, it appears that Microsoft's Windows Surface tablet may be even less easily recycled.
We've worked to achieve a global reach and now welcome 60%+ of our visitors and followers from outside of the United States. In 2013, @GreenICT became the #1 ranked global Twitter feed for #GreenICT and the #2 for #GreenIT by wefollow.com.
We could not have accomplished this without all the support of our site visitors and Twitter followers, particularly those who referenced and retweeted us. Thank you!
I posted last week that I would be attending DistribuTECH and asked about Green ICT there. How credible is the sustainability vision of Smart Grid, Smart Buildings, etc. if the Smart community does not attend to the sustainability of the Smart infrastructure?
We noted in a 2008 post about the SMART 2020 report that while ICT emits GHGs, its potential to reduce them in other sectors was 5X greater. Now, a follow-up report - SMARTEer2020 - calculates ICT's leverage at 7X.
What is a battery? A device to store energy and convert it to electricity on demand? This is an important question as ICT facilities and infrastructure elements increasingly rely on sophisticated battery-based systems such as UPS. Potentially greener alternatives are emerging to chemical batteries, with flywheels appearing to have the most momentum for ITC facilities going into 2013.
Let's start by reviewing the role energy storage devices play in ICT. A 2011 APC white paper lists three applications:
Verne Global continues to publish useful information about why customers value green data centers. Automobile manufacturer BMW is the latest customer profiled by the company.
We were critical of Apple's environmental stance a few years ago, saying that the company was positioned to be a leader rather than a a foot-dragger. Since then, the company has made significant strides, such as improvements to its take-back recycling programs*. On the downside, issues about its Chinese contract manufacturing operations have been slow to be resolved. Recent actions toward addressing labor issues need to be matched with ones addressing environmental issues. Factory pollution takes a toll on both workers and neighbors and a July 2013 report alleges problems still persist.
Microsoft has announced plans to spend $5.5 million to build a zero-carbon data center pilot project in Wyoming. A source of very low carbon electricity is key to such projects. Microsoft's power generation fuel? Municipal sewage!
Two Green ICT threads have converged in the natural disasters of Japan's earthquake/tsunami and America's hurricane Sandy. One is how energy-efficient gear, infrastructures, and practices can contribute to more sustainable ICT. The other is how efficient ICT can combine with renewable energy sources to deliver education, medicine, and other basic services to areas with little or no dependable electricity. From this converge comes a vision of sustainable ICT with is both efficient and resilient.