I've noted that research labs are examples of ICT faculties that consume considerable energy. I've also noted communications gear giant Cisco's work on Green ICT. These two topics have come together as Cisco turns its attention to energy use in its own labs.
The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Wyoming "provides advanced computing services to scientists studying a broad range of disciplines, including weather, climate, oceanography, air pollution, space weather, computational science, energy production, and carbon sequestration. It also houses a landmark data storage and archival facility that will hold, among other scientific data, unique historical climate records." It has also become of the focus our largest Twitter discussion of the 2013.
City governments can show Green ICT leadership. Paul Kronberger, CIO of Madison (WI-USA), a city of 270,000 residents, tells me the municipality has taken these steps to improve the sustainability of its own operations.
In an ironic turn of events, the e-waste being reprocessed in China is coming home to us through imports. This includes lead1 in our food.
ICT companies appear to be boosting their use of renewable energy. Indicators include the Vestas 2012 Corporate Renewable Energy Index (CREX) and Apple's recent announcement about progress toward its 100% renewable goal.
The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. About twenty set-top boxes (STBs) or cable, IP, or satellite from seven manufacturers came in at less than 65W in the program's Total Energy Consumption (TEC) metric. This is a big improvement from two years ago, when our top twenty cut-off was 100W.
The Apple TV set-top box (STB), which I own, has always been very energy efficient. It is consistently at top the of EPA's ENERGY STAR STB ratings. Now, a third-party test finds the 2013 edition to be the most efficient Apple TV yet.
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.
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