"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 infrastuctures.
The Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan 2010-2015 covers a wide range of Green ICT practices and should be considered by other government entities looking to adopt Green ICT practices. We will periodically look at various elements of the Australia's plan - first up are the six components of its ICT equipment procurement plan.
There are compelling reasons why the global ICT for Development (ICT4D) movement can benefit by embracing Sustainable Green ICT. A snapshot some of the purported "best" practices and other resources for ICT4D reveals little movement in this direction.
We took a look in October 2013 at five resources recently promoted on Twitter as big-picture looks at #ICT4D topics. Here's who is NOT talking about Green ICT.
Traditional ICT facilities consume as much energy cooling their gear as powering it the first place. One solution is to re-use the waste heat. Our latest example is shows that even a small data center can re-use heat.
We've regularly looked at datacenter and equipment consolidation. Consolidation can reduce resource consumption and environmental toxins by reducing energy use and equipment purchasing, yet consolidation efforts without careful implementation and appropriate safeguards can lead to catastrophic failure points. Two articles in the same week about a major American university illustrate the point.
How much gear is attached to the edges of our global ICT infrastructure? Our 2014 estimate is over 19 billion items. This up ~1 billion over 2013. The increase is driven by mobile and consumer media devices, but we are constantly adding new categories like wearable devices. We will update this table as new information comes in over the course of the year.
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 in 2012 with the slogan "ICT Hub-In-A-Box Offers Internet Connectivity Anytime, Anywhere". The concept has now been nominated for an award.
Consumers and businesses shopping for ICT gear and accessories can see which products contain potentially hazardous chemicals. This is due to a state of California (USA) law requiring such disclosure. Shopping on Amazon illustrates how this works.
Billions of people live in areas still without telecommunications access. Innovative delivery ideas emerged in 2013, including balloons. 2014 updates include a Facebook video explaining its solutions using satellites, drones, and lasers, Google's plans to add satellites to its mix of balloons and drones, and an announcement of a surprising new player.
The Pacific Island Schools Connectivity, Education, and Solar (PISCES) Project has installed a Solar-in-a-Box kit as a computer lab at a primary school on the island of Udot in the Federated States of Micronesia. The installation illustrates several ways in which Green ICT technologies and practices can deliver ICT to remote areas. (We've updated this post with a note about the second phase of PISCES.)