A recent camping trip to remote Utah (USA) gave me a good opportuity to contemplate why we pursue Green ICT. I was surrounded by the remains of an ancient civilization that may well have succumbed to its own eco-disaster.
We report on the environmental activities of ICT manufacturers providers because their environmental footprints become 'embodied' in the gear and services we use and thus become part of our footprints. It is inevitable that, in polarized America, ICT companies' environmental positions draw fire from politically conservative organizations. We look at two examples, one involving Apple and the another involving large cloud service providers, and a dramatic move by one of the world's largest ICT companies.
Fairphone positions its first product as "A seriously cool smartphone that puts social values first." The Netherlands-based company's phone addresses two important Green ICT issues for mobile devices: conflict minerals and e-waste.
Disk-based data storage, which can cost an organization $25/GB/month, offers Green ICT opportunities. We been tracking how people are reducing the impact of disk storage. This post looks at alternatives to disk storage for rarely used, event-driven data. This is known as Tier-3 storage and is particularly suited for 'offline' or 'cold' storage.
Vertatique strives to cover the CT, as well as the IT, in Green ICT, with attention to networking, broadcast, telephony, and other communications infrastructure elements. Our latest update to this post looks at GHG emission from various segments of mobile telecommunications: network access services, device charging, and industry supply chain.
Green ICT is concerned with all resources consumed in creating e-gear and operating ICT infrastructures. Significant amounts of water are used in everything from chip fabrication to PC manufacture to data center operation. This makes ICT vulnerable to droughts and other constraints. It has also dragged ICT water use into the political arena. We've just added a video from Google about how the company is using was water to cool one of its data centers.
We could find only one green certification program in our search for the greenest tablets.
Sweden's TCO certifies 5 model lines of Samsung tablets. There is no way of telling if other vendors' products failed certification or if, as TCO claimed about Apple in February 2014, the manufacturer declines to participate. TCO certification includes social as well as environmental criteria.
Our coverage of ICT4D - information and communications technology for development - has been tracking the deployment of renewable-powered mobile base stations as an alternative to diesel power in remote areas. There are now tens of thousands of these sites, primarily in Asia. One player in this space, Indian telecom equipment manufacturer Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL) , is bringing this technology to rural America. This is a great example of global cross-fertilization within ICT4D.
We've noted that there has been too little focus on Green ICT in American higher education. This does not mean that colleges and universities in American and around the global aren't making any progress at all - you can click on the 'education' tag above to see examples. We regularly add updates about global higher education in this post -- we recently featured a green ICT resource for UK institutions and took a look at Green ICT in The Netherlands.
ICT company sites continue to be well-represented among the Fortune 500 locations participating in the EPA Green Power Partnership as of July 2014.