Green IT, media, and devices are all components of the "Green Tech" business category. A new survey of venture capitalists by KPMG puts this category at the forefront of 2008-2009 investment activity.
"When asked to identify the industry sectors that would receive the most capital over the next two years, 24 percent indicated greentech/cleantech, which was followed by biotech/pharmaceuticals at 15 percent, Internet services at 13 percent, and mobile technology was cited by 11 percent."
Meanwhile, Cleantech Network data shows that investment in this sector has grown over 5X in recent years and is on a doubling run rate.
Ted Samson writes in Infoworld that he has been reflecting on the difference between "green" and "sustainable".
"Green is understood to mean "environmentally friendly" and "energy efficient"; technology means "technology." So a server that uses 50 percent less energy than a rival machine while doing just as much work would be considered an example of green technology."
"Then there's sustainable technology.
Consumer electronics suppliers will face growing scrutiny of their sustainability practices from retailers. But consumers need to support these efforts by evolving their behavior. Sierra Magazine reports:
"With the power of a good-size country, Wal-Mart has put the squeeze on its 60,000 suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint. Starting in 2008, the retailer will use data from suppliers to measure the impact of its entire supply chain. The incentive: Wal-Mart promises better placement in stores for products that have addressed sustainability issues."
The website for the The Green Book cites a number of statistics that can motive more sustainable use of personal electronics:
"Unplug your power. Ten percent of the electricity used in your home is burned by communication devices and appliances when they are turned off!" (These are sometimes referred to as "vampire devices" because they silently drain power during the night.)
I am testing a Web widget called CO2Stats
According to the provider, "CO2Stats monitors how much electricity is being used to power your site, and then it "offsets" the emissions by investing in renewable energy projects that help to counteract global warming. Our offsets are funded by advertising sponsors who are selected because they are committed to making the Internet more environmentally friendly." This is a potentially powerful concept that needs some refinement:
There is a clear opportunity for CIOs in every country to act boldly to assess their organizations' green computing profiles and to advocate enterprise-wide goals and policies. An article in UK's Computing reports that all to often, IT departments are followers, not leaders:
The consumer electronics and computer businesses have become synonymous with high rates of (some say planned) obsolescence.
Over twenty US states have or are considering electronics recycling laws, so manufactures are beginning to respond. Three major players - Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba - announced at CES that they are forming the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM).
Recycling is "downstream" solution to the e-waste problem. The "upstream" solution is to rethink product design and marketing to encourage long-term use, not rapid replacement. Additional product design initiatives could reduce toxic components and make recycling easier and cheaper.
Other items of note:
The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which touts itself as the largest carbon-neutral trade show, is featuring lots of "green gadgets". Vertatique will be tracking the news coming out of the show, please comment if you have specific experience with any of these devices. Our first CES post features companies offering a new generation of power supplies for computers and other devices. One, Green Plug, cites the following 2008 power supply statistics on its web site:
The entertainment industry requires massive amounts of compute power for special effects, animation, game creation, and online rich media. Advances like "virtual backlots" reduce some environmental impacts, but also increase the demand for computational horsepower and communications bandwidth. IBM is now incorporating Hollywood into its Project Big Green, as announced last week at the Hollywood Goes Green conference. Here is IBM's Project Big Green video: