The WSP study of Microsoft Office distribution concluded that "digital delivery reduced total tonnes of carbon emissions by 88%." Is this a realistic savings for digital delivery of movies and large software/game packages from most sellers and distributors?
The German company scored A+ while the three American companies scored B+ in Claremont McKenna College's Entertainment Sector Analysis of sustainability. Ten others scored B- to D+. But even the top performers have a long way to go.
ARPANET pioneer Lawrence Roberts notes that "we’re seeing an explosion in...video applications...[but] traditional IP packet routers...treat the video packets as loose data entities when they ought to treat them as flows." He advocates 'flow routing' to improve network routing and to reduce its power consumption, claiming that "in a traditional router the routing and queuing chips consume 80 percent of the power and space".
Green production proponent MiShawn Williams (@theGLASSgirl) posted a detailed review of the REEL GREEN Workshop held in Burbank last week. Her review covers technologies and practices to improve media production sustainability and includes useful links.
For more info on this topic, including best practices from the event sponsor, see Vertatique's Sustainable Media Production Practices.
Vertatique's Green Productions Directory offers examples of different approaches toward sustainability by a variety of media productions.
The search for data about TV stations' energy consumption elicited a comment from an industry colleague that it is "miniscule" compared to that of the station's viewers. How would we go about calculating the impact of a local station audience?
Beyond internal efforts, leadership organizations can engage stakeholders and others in their enterprise ecologies. I recently noted NewsCorp's efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of their own DVD productions. Of equal note is the investment they have made to create and publish sustainability resources for other media producers.
An article in Broadcast Engineering seems to imply that for most terrestrial broadcasters, their production studios consume more energy than their transmission chains (master control, STL, transmitter, tower, etc.). It would be useful to see the data on this, as this has bigger implications for the media industry than just Green ICT.
The European Union established in late 2008 the EU Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency of Digital TV Service Systems for "all companies dealing Digital TV Service Systems (service providers, broadcasters, STB manufacturers, silicon manufacturers, etc.)." We've added the companies that have signed the code to the Vertatique Media Products Directory.