Standards for Green ICT gear and the accompanying databases of qualified models are invaluable tools for organizations striving for more sustainable purchasing practices. One challenge is that technology innovation and sustainability awareness evolve very rapidly while standards processes move very slowly. The ENRGY STAR for Data Center Products program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a case in point.
An insightful article at Politico examines the lobbying surrounding SOPA and PIPA. An accompanying graph, below, reveals that the Entertainment industry has outspent the Internet industry in Congress by almost 10X over the past two years. Also, a look at the blackout's potential impact on energy consumption and at a parallel European issue.
|Containerized modules have become building blocks for mega data centers. These plug-and-play units offer cost-effective scalability for hosting cloud applications needing only a homogeneous platform. A UK nonprofit known for providing refurbished computers to developing countries now offers an innovative containerized ICT solution for use in disaster areas and remote communities. Computer Aid International launched its ZubaBox with the slogan "ICT Hub-In-A-Box Offers Internet Connectivity Anytime, Anywhere".|
The University of Illinois has had a strong focus on e-waste through its Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI). Now, researchers at the University are experimenting with a technique that would enable electronic circuits to repair themselves. This holds the promise of longer service lives and therefore less e-waste. Here are excerpts from "Autonomic Restoration of Electrical Conductivity" in Advanced Materials.
Apple filed a patent application in December 2011 for a "fuel cell system for a portable computing device". Here are some excerpts from the application speaking the social/market forces to which Apple sees itself responding.
Email and email attachments have less environmental impact than physical delivery. But email is not without its own costs, both in terms of energy/carbon footprints and organizational productivity. A French company has taken a hard look at this and announced that it will move toward "zero email". At the same time, a German company has stopped its servers from routing some email after hours.
Apple's iPad, e-readers like Kindle, and smart phones lack the storage capacity and I/O options of even a netbook, necessitating connection to a cloud of data and applications. iPhone users began placing unprecedented demands on the cloud two years ago; it is likely that users of the tablets and other new devices and services are accelerating the trend. New statistics now reveal the the amazing scope and speed of this demand.
We first looked at the impact of social media in 2007 with Virtual Worlds Leave a Real World Carbon Footprint. Since then, there has been increasing focus on the mega-data centers that underlie the most popular services. Facebook, who has opted for a custom server approach to reducing PUE, has take the unique step of publishing its server and facility designs. Facebook calls this the Open Compute Project. The Project just picked up a surprising ally - Greenpeace.
UK's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WARP) conducted a study of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) content of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). What can we learn, besides UK greens' fondness for initials? Turns out media, not IT, gear is the largest category. Upgrades are driving this waste stream.
Vertatique has been tracking statistics about the carbon costs of everyday computer activities dating back to our March 2007 look at Second Life. These stats can be both useful for awareness-building and hard to get right, as we were reminded by the 2009 flap over Google's search footprint*. Google subsequently released more statistics on its unit energy consumption and CO2e footprint.