Chemical batteries have a host of life-cycle sustainability issues, so ICT manufacturers and practitioners are constantly looking to innovate in this area. I've previously taken a look at alternatives to chemical batteries in ICT facilities and infrastructures. What about e-gear? Mitigate, more than eliminate, is the current state of practice.
Europe has a number of initiatives and conferences focused on the 'C' in "Green ICT'.
TREND is a Network of Excellence on energy-efficient networking funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). TREND describes itself as "a new holistic approach to energy-efficient and sustainable networking."
The ECONET (low Energy COnsumption NETworks) project is a 3-year IP project (running from October 2010 to September 2013) is also funded under FP7, addresses Strategic Objective ICT-2009.1.1 The Network of the Future (Euro-NF). "The ECONET project aims at studying and exploiting dynamic adaptive technologies (based on standby and performance scaling capabilities) for wired network devices that allow saving energy when a device (or part of it) is not used…The overall idea is to introduce novel green network-specific paradigms and concepts enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50% in the short to mid-term (and by 80% in the long run)."
Earth911 has created an info-graphic presenting the progress of the EPEAT® program. Among its statistics: the 411+ million registered items purchased since the program began in 2005 have eliminated 8375 tonnes of toxic material that would have be used in the manufacture of unregistered gear. (Summary readers can click "Read more" below to see the full graphic and all its information.)
Conferences covering the topic of "green communications" are plentiful this year. Some have March 2012 submission deadlines.
Facebook mentions in passing that its highly efficient Prineville data center uses "Ethernet-powered LED lighting [to] reduce the total energy required to run the facility." Additional information about what exactly Facebook has done is hard to fine. What is Ethernet-powered LED lighting?
Photovoltaic (PV) solar is promising source of on-site renewable electricity generation for ICT infrastructures. Solar PV generates DC power; computers and other e-devices run on DC power. What are the challenges and opportunities?
Excerpts from an address at the International Telecommunications Union's 2011 Green Standards Week sheds light on on Green ICT initiatives within China's communications industry.
I wrote of the launch of Canada's GreenStar Network over two years ago. The announcement of an Asian node late last year in this "zero-carbon" network is a measure of the project's progress since then.
Apple's supply chain is the subject of increasing media scrutiny, including in a series of articles in the New York Times (links below). CEO Tim Cook, in a letter to Apple employees posted on 9to5mac.com, seems to imply that the company is being singled out unfairly. "Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today…Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. We know of no one in our industry doing as much as we are, in as many places, touching as many people. At the same time, no one has been more up front about the challenges we face."
Hewlett-Packard's Global Citizenship site analyzes conflict minerals within the global supply chain for ICT gear. "The minerals supply chain is long, complex, and involves several layers: from mining, through in-country traders and exporters, to smelters, refiners/metal exchanges/alloy producers, and finally to component and other manufacturers (see graphic). The smelter is a critical control point, because it is the stage where minerals from many sources are processed to produce a refined metal."