Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is emerging as an important mechanism to ensure more sustainable ICT gear. Here is a review of what EPR is and who is implementing it.
The industry has been striving to green data centers for some time. Here are some of pioneers from 2002 through 2009.
ICT businesses continue to dominate Newsweek's 2012 Green Rankings of the top 500 US public companies, as they did in 2009-11 (see below). All five top 5 companies are in ICT sectors this year: IBM (#1), Hewlett-Packard (#2), Sprint Nextel (#3), and Dell (#4), CA Technologies (#5). All told, ICT sectors dominated the top 20 with a record 13 positions.
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.
Verne Global continues to publish useful information about why customers value green data centers. Automobile manufacturer BMW is the latest customer profiled by the company.
A Microsoft/Accenture/WSP report compared three applications used in-cloud and on-premises. A Google report takes a similar look at Google Apps. Both claim CO2e reductions ranging above 80%. Pike Research says the move to cloud computing will decrease overall data center GHG emissions by 28%. The most recent report, a WSP/NRDC study, reinforces these themes but offers balancing perspectives.
We're increasingly seeing data centers promote, and customers respond to, Green ICT features. Here are some customer perspectives and the results of a industry survey that reveals geographical differences.
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.
Europe has a number of initiatives and conferences focused on the 'C' in "Green ICT'.
TREND is a Network of Excellence on energy-efficient networking funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). TREND describes itself as "a new holistic approach to energy-efficient and sustainable networking."
The ECONET (low Energy COnsumption NETworks) project is a 3-year IP project (running from October 2010 to September 2013) is also funded under FP7, addresses Strategic Objective ICT-2009.1.1 The Network of the Future (Euro-NF). "The ECONET project aims at studying and exploiting dynamic adaptive technologies (based on standby and performance scaling capabilities) for wired network devices that allow saving energy when a device (or part of it) is not used…The overall idea is to introduce novel green network-specific paradigms and concepts enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50% in the short to mid-term (and by 80% in the long run)."
Conferences covering the topic of "green communications" are plentiful this year. Some have March 2012 submission deadlines.