The Latest Vertatique News & Insights

Green Storage

I saw a trade show exhibit touting "Green Storage". Turns out the storage array manufacturer had a scheme for selectively powering down individual disks as appropriate to the application.

Energy-saving technologies are good and, in one sense, are inherently green. But the web site of the company in question did not present an overall sustainability strategy for its products or operations. Nor does this company appear to be a participant in the SNIA Green Storage Initiative.

When marketing "green", where is the line between commitment and hype?

Supply Chain Evaluation Tools

Vertatique has noted the trend toward businesses tracking the environmental impact of their supply chains. These enterprises are finding any increasing array of tools to help them do this. For example, supply chain application software provider ILOG now offers a Carbon Footprint Extension to help companies analyze and minimize carbon emissions. ILOG has partnered with Accenture to offer a webcast series about green supply chains.

Sell Your Consumer e-Waste?

Responsible consumers are finding more options available for recycling their e-waste. One innovative approach is BuyMyTronics.com, which offers cash for iPods, iPhones, and game consoles, including broken items. Most existing services just accept e-gagets as donations or even charge for disposal. Here's what I learned when I did a obsolete gadget sweep:

Website Statement of Sustainable Computing

A "Website Statement of Sustainable Computing" tells your stakeholders what you are doing to minimize your website's energy consumption and carbon footprint. Here's a checklist you can use to construct your own statement, followed by a statement example:

Broadband applications' contribution to sustainable work/life

Vertatique usually focuses on creating a more sustainable e-world, so it is worth occasionally noting that the e-world itself can be more sustainable than physical alternatives.  A recent study by the American Consumer Institute finds that "wide adoption and use of broadband applications can achieve a net reduction of 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas over 10 years, which, if converted into energy saved, would constitute 11% of annual U.S. oil imports." The report cites these specific opportunities, among others:

Green Tech becoming major investment focus

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.

Green Technology vs. Sustainable IT

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.

Suppliers, Retailers, and Consumers

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."

But adds:

Personal Electronics

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.)

New Tool to Monitor Site Carbon

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:

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