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. Yet Apple continues to improve its environmental position in China - producing solar power is its latest initative.
The search for the greenest TVs continues to be challanging. EPEAT added televisions to its equipment registry in early 2013. We had anticipated this would bring some clarity to this category. There were significantly less Gold-registered televisions April 2014, compared with computer monitors, but we saw that to be a good start. We were wrong.
Eleven manufacturers are offering over 230 models of desktop computers in the EPEAT USA Gold database, about the same number as a year ago. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Apple offer the most choices.
Sweden's TCO Development certified 32 products, down from a high of 80. Most manufacturers appear to have dropped out of TCO certification in this category; only Hewlett Packard and Lenovo now participate.
Germany's Blue Angel only lists models from Fujitsu.
Acer/Gateway and Phillips no longer offer qualifying models and have been removed from the list. Wyse is new to the list this year.
"E-waste" and "cyber waste" describe the unwanted systems and components of our industry. Green organizations and facilities mitigate their e-waste impacts by repurposing and recycling equipment when scheduled for replacement. Despite all the focus on e-waste over the past decade, it continues to pollute communities around the world and threatens global ICT infrastructures. Yet no one cal agree on how much is actually out there.
Twelve manufacturers offer ENERGY STAR® qualified servers, down from seventeen in 2013. Symantec and Unify are the latest to offer products. Energy consumption is only one criteria for choosing the greenest server, but there are no comprehensive ratings of green servers.
Green-certified computer displays are now too numerous to present in table format. Here is how to find the most sustainable displays, including projectors, listed by two certification services.
Four manufactures offer over 150 EPEAT Gold models in the United States. This is a significant improvement over a year ago. Lanier and Savin now offer EPEAT Gold models and both top the list with most models, closely followed by Konica/Minolta. Epson appears to no longer offer EPEAT Gold models.
The EPEAT Gold database includes 389 models for the US. This represents a drop of ~30% over a year ago. The biggest drops came from Toshiba (-47%) and Samsung (-76%), the companies that offer the most models a year ago. Toshiba is still a model count leader, along with HP and Apple. The latter two companies increased their models counts in the past year.
ICT gear depends on materials whose supply is increasingly affected by environmental and political factors. This gives rise to a complex set of issues ranging from resource scarcity to conflict minerals.
ICT facilities are becoming increasingly innovative in reusing their waste heat, a trend we first identified in 2009. This has been strongest in Europe, where many municipalities have district heating infrastructures into which facilities can transfer excess heat. Our latest example, from Switzerland, is just this sort of arrangement.