The Latest Vertatique News & Insights

The Importance of Location for Green Data Centers

Location is becoming increasingly important to the sustainability of ICT facilities. We've been tracking activities which try to leverage geographic features for greener operations. This article focuses on Europe and Asia. Another focuses on North America.

Conflict Minerals and the Hidden Cost of e-Devices

Our e-devices contain all sorts of exotic materials, many of which, like tungsten, tantalum, and tin, are refined from ores that originate in Central Africa. Called "conflict minerals", they fund warfare in the Congo and neighboring countries. More people are said have been killed here than any conflict since World War Two. Progress is being made, but legal setbacks and weak laws are slowing efforts. The latest critiicisms focus on proposed EU regulations.

Apple in China

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.

E-waste / Cyber Waste

"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.

Finding the Greenest Notebooks

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.

Will Future ICT Product Availability Be Threatened by Resource Insecurity?


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.

Data Centers Reuse Waste Heat

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.

Average Power Use Per Server

We have been tracking this topic the inception of Vertatique and it is consistently our most-Googled post. We just updated it to better present the material and add newer information.

The Dematerialization of Movie Film

Dematerialization refers to the reduction in the quantity of materials required to accomplish a function in society. In sustainability terms, dematerialization refers to the replacement of a high-resource/waste activity with a lower-impact one. ICT has become a powerful dematerialization force, evidenced, for example, by how it has replaced physical mail with electronic mail. The US theatrical release of a major motion picture only in digital marks another phase in media dematerialization.

How E-Waste Threatens National Security

We documented how the e-waste America ships overseas returns to threaten it's citizen's health. Now, we've learned how that e-waste also threatens America's national security.

Syndicate content