Most Green ICT focuses on hardware. That make sense, because hardware lifecycles encompass everything from environmentally responsible sourcing of its raw materials through energy efficiency of its use to sustainable disposal at its end-of-life. Special utility software such as desktop power-saving plays a central role in Green ICT, but less attention has been given to the application and system software in the gear, itself. Now, projects are looking at how to create more sustainable software.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is emerging as an important mechanism to ensure more sustainable ICT gear. Here is a review of what EPR is and who is implementing it.
The industry has been striving to green data centers for some time. Here are some of pioneers from 2002 through 2009.
Traditional household appliances have become more energy efficient in the past forty years, but households have not. The growing use of electronics plays a major role in the failure to benefit from more efficient appliances.
Mega data centers are booming but operators from Microsoft to the NSA are learning something about the 'bust' side of the equation. It turns out big data centers can be big targets for the tax man.
Much Green ICT focuses on computers: servers in the data center and desktops in the office. Don't forget that disk-based data storage, which can cost an organization $25/GB/month, also offers opportunities. Here's a look at the progress manufacturers and users have been making in recent years to manage data storage's energy consumption. The storage capacity of the United States National Security Agency's (NSA) new data center in Utah is a powerful reminder of the role storage plays in ICT facilities.
ICT businesses continue to dominate Newsweek's 2012 Green Rankings of the top 500 US public companies, as they did in 2009-11 (see below). All five top 5 companies are in ICT sectors this year: IBM (#1), Hewlett-Packard (#2), Sprint Nextel (#3), and Dell (#4), CA Technologies (#5). All told, ICT sectors dominated the top 20 with a record 13 positions.
A number of sustainability rankings in the US and Europe let us take a look at how telecom providers perform compared to each other and to broader tech sectors. Sprint-Nextel is best in the United States. Sprint's take-back program was ranked tops in the US in 2012 and was the only carrier in the top quartile of Greenpeace's 2013 Cool IT Leaderboard. France Telecom, KPN and Vodafone have received consistently good marks with global rankings.
Here we track gear for consumers and small businesses seeking ICT resiliency. This is a wide range of ICT-related gear suitable for areas or situations lacking reliable grid power. Our latest is a portable stove uses twigs for fuel to cook and to charge a smartphone.
A MarketsandMarkets report says, "The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 93.5 million tons in 2016 from 41.5 million tons in 2011 at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2011 to 2016." Three strategies for dealing with an organization's aging ICT gear are scrap, external reuse, and internal reuse. Internal reuse offers a growing number of increasingly sophisticated options while external reuse is revealing some unintended consequences.