Electronic media infrastructures and gear are important components of global ICT as movies, television, music, and books all go digital. This post offers a global sampling of sustainability in e-media; see much more by clicking on the "Green media" tag, above.
We advocate reuse of ICT products whenever possible. Reuse often requires refurbishing, a task performed by enterprises ranging from large charities like Computer Aid International to specialty business. The demise of the CRT in broadcasting has lead to the closure on one such business, Hawk-Eye Picture Tube Manufacturing of Des Moines (USA), the USA's last independent CRT rebuilder. TV Technology reports that "Hawk-eye has been known to the broadcast crowd for several decades, providing a budget-friendly alternative to factory replacement tubes for [broadcast monitors]…At one time, the United States boasted hundreds of CRT rebuilding operations. They existed both in the big cities and in small towns, filling an important niche…Typically, a CRT could be rebuilt and sold for one-half to two-thirds of the cost of an all-new tube." CRTs contain many toxins such as lead and other heavy metals and it appears most of CRTs obsoleted by the conversion to digital broadcast were not properly recycled. More: DTV & Green ICT, CRTs & Green ICT
A number of sustainability rankings in the US and Europe let us take a look at how telecom providers perform compared to each other and to broader tech sectors. Sprint-Nextel is best in the United States. Sprint's take-back program was ranked tops in the US in 2012 and was the only carrier in the top quartile of Greenpeace's 2013 Cool IT Leaderboard. France Telecom, KPN and Vodafone have received consistently good marks with global rankings.
Location is becoming increasingly important to the sustainability of ICT facilities. We've been tracking facilities in North American and Europe which try to leverage geographic features for greener operations. Our latest example has Apple benefiting from its Nevada (US) site's underground water and low risk of natural disasters.
Updates from the Americas (ex-US). Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Americas' tag above for all news about the region.
The Haiti Connected Schools Program "brings sustainable computing solutions and Internet connections to 40 schools in rural Haiti." When a school is ready to receive a lab "solar panels are installed either on the roof or on poles next to the computer lab and the indoor cabling with inverter and batteries are completed." Although everything from ICT gear to LED lighting could be powered directly by DC from solar panels, most rural solar-based ICT programs use less efficient DC-to-AC inversion. Click here for a discussion of why and here for an overview of DC power for ICT.
A 2010 version of this post was titled "No One Can Agree on Typical PUE". I wrote, "As more data centers measure their PUE, more and more ask what is typical? The industry does not seem to agree, so a wide range of numbers are out there." I updated the post in 2012 with the latest data, concluding that most data centers still appear to be operating above a PUE of 2.0."
I put the question to Vertatique's global Green ICT community in August 2013 via a tweet: "After years of #GreenICT, is there evidence that most #datacenters now operate below PUE 2.0?". This was one of our most-retweeted, but no one came forward with new evidence. Some replied in the emphatic negative. Hereis the 2012 analysis, which still stands.
A Pike Research report says that the trend to greener data centers will yield a significant GHG slowdown as well as drive a substantial market opportunity. Here are some of the top-line numbers from Pike.
I wrote of the launch of Canada's GreenStar Network over two years ago. The announcement of an Asian node late last year in this "zero-carbon" network is a measure of the project's progress since then.
CME Group Index Services publishes the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. Which ICT companies perform best on the 2011 Indexes?
We're updating our 2010 look at Green ICT Earth Day activities with 2011 news.
Kansas City (MO, USA) carrier hotel 1102 GRAND announced that it had "recently implemented Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCP&L’s) Custom Rebate Retrofit Program and projects a Wattage reduction of 53 percent just in time for Earth Day 2011." 1102 Grand principal Darren Bonawitz emailed these lessons learned. "In our experience, it is always easier to cost justify implementing large scale infrastructure replacements with more eco-friendly options when expanding or replacing equipment at the end of its life cycle. Those projects do not happen every month or year even. In between, commercial companies can take advantage of programs to complete smaller projects that still provide incremental energy savings. A series of smaller projects are often easier to implement and the sum of their energy reduction can be just as significant as a single large scale retrofit."
This isn't really ICT-related, but we could not resist. The CIA's Earth Day press release leads with, "The Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of shredding and burning classified papers...is one of several ways the CIA conserves energy, reduces its impact on the environment, and lowers costs through its sustainability efforts. Exhaust from the Agency’s on-site incinerator generates steam to heat water at CIA Headquarters. In addition to saving fuel, that process reduces the amount of waste—which would otherwise be destined for landfills—by nearly 1,000 tons per year." Burn before showering.
The Green Electronics Council launched an international EPEAT purchasing registry which "enables the world’s leading electronics manufacturers to list ‘green’ computers and monitors in over 41 countries across the globe." The registry is revealing about the distribution of EPEAT product availability.