Government entities have an important role to play in encouraging sustainable ICT across all industries. Effective leadership requires internal implementation, as well. The tag at the top of this post - government - helps you easily locate posts containing opportunities for and applications of Green ICT in government operations. (Green ICT in public education is found through the education tag.) Our latest update to this post is the disappointing news about New Zealand's decline in ICT sustainability in government.
The creation of ICT content - software and e-media - is part of ICT's footprint of resource input and waste output. A 2009 UK report, while dated, is still helpful in scoping the size and structure of media industry footprints.
We launched Vertatique with the statistic that data centers consumes ~2% of global electricity production. We now know that the globe's broader ICT energy footprint is ~8%, the majority of which is NOT from data centers. The contribution of communications, driven by explosion of cloud computing and mobile devices, has helped drive the number higher. Here are the facts and figures.
We estimate that in 2014 that 19 billion devices were attached to our global ICT infrastructure. We recently saw an estimate of 50 billion for 2020. What would the path to 50 billion connected devices look like?
Most Green ICT attention focuses on the datacenter. Five years of work consistently holds that datacenters represent a minority of total ICT energy consumption and carbon emissions.
GSMA's Global Mobile Awards' Green Mobile Awards are for "mobile industry organisations that are focused on the reduction of environmental impacts through eco-friendly, innovative policies, products, programmes or initiatives, as well as organisations outside of the industry that utilise the mobile platform to communicate, innovate or drive eco-friendly programmes, services and initiatives." Here's a look at the 2009-2013 winners and at the trend toward greener mobile base stations.
Gartner, the ICT research and advisory company, got off to an early start in Green ICT recognition with two events in 2010. Since then, the organization appears to have dropped its focus on recognizing sustainable ICT.
Bitcoin is an extra-sovereign currency which maintains is scarcity by requiring increasingly complex computer calculations for their creation. This process - bitcoin mining - highlights a number of Green ICT issues. Increased public awareness of Bitcoin could help awareness of Green ICT.
Several companies have been working to create cloud computing volume servers using "wimpy chips". These are low-power, lower-speed chips designed for mobile devices. The idea is that large numbers of these in a server can yield lower energy consumption while maintaining cost-effective performance. The EU has launched an initiative using the wimpy-chip approach, but an American pioneer has shuttered its doors.
The line between "devices" and "IT" is quickly fading as these two categories merge. Hospitals are a good example. In the late 20th century, many hospitals had two technology departments: "biomed" and "computers". As biomedical devices have becoming increasingly digital and networked, and as IT moves onto mobile devices, many hospitals have consolidated these operations into a single technology organization. A consequence is that Green ICT embraces medical devices and their infrastructures. Our original 2010 post noted that medical equipment sold into the European Union was exempt from the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, but that would be changing. There is now a firm 2014 date.