|Vertatique's Green e-Device initiative advances the reduction of energy, waste, and carbon
in the design, use, and disposal of electronic devices in all industries.
A MarketsandMarkets report says, "The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 93.5 million tons in 2016 from 41.5 million tons in 2011 at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2011 to 2016." Three strategies for dealing with an organization's aging ICT gear are scrap, external reuse, and internal reuse. Internal reuse offers a growing number of increasingly sophisticated options while external reuse is revealing some unintended consequences. Reuse options are growing for home devices, as well.
It is difficult to get reliable data on how long we hold onto the 19+ billion edge devices attached to the global ICT infrastructure. Diverse device types and cultural practices complicate the issue. So do changing purchase and lease plans.
Researchers around the global are exploring innovative ways to sustainably recharge the billions of edge devices attached to the global ICT infrastructure. Experiments use everything from plants to urine . (You may have to reload page to display videos.)
I don't go into the backcountry device-free. A smartphone, with backcountry GPS software, and a digital camera are always with me. Planning for an 11-day rafting/hiking trip through the Grand Canyon in April raised the issue of how to power my gear. I decided to go solar to minimize battery consumption. A February week in the Mojave desert (right) gave me a chance to sort out candidate devices and to configure a compact but workable system. Here are reports from the Mojave and Grand Canyon trips.
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.
The search for the greenest TVs continues to be challanging. EPEAT added televisions to its equipment registry in early 2013. We had anticipated this would bring some clarity to this category. There were significantly less Gold-registered televisions April 2014, compared with computer monitors, but we saw that to be a good start. We were wrong.
There is a rich global mix of advanced concepts and technologies emerging from research labs that may improve the future sustainability of ICT equipment and infrastructures. We regularly update this post with technologies of interest. (You can see all the technologies which hold the promise of greener ICT in the future by clicking the 'FutureTech' tag, above.) Our latest posts span research into biological agents that can recover gold from e-waste to multiferroic materials to reduce device waste heat.
The healthcare, like most industries, has seen seen its electronic technologies become ICT technologies. Medical facilities are ICT facilities and much medical gear is ICT gear. That's consistent with our inclusive definition of Green ICT. Here are some industry initiatives having an impact:
We could find only one green certification program in our search for the greenest tablets.
Sweden's TCO certifies 5 model lines of Samsung tablets. There is no way of telling if other vendors' products failed certification or if, as TCO claimed about Apple in February 2014, the manufacturer declines to participate. TCO certification includes social as well as environmental criteria.