City governments can show Green ICT leadership. Here is what Paul Kronberger is CIO of Madison (WI-USA), a city of 270,000 residents, tells me the municipality has done to improve the sustainability of its own operations.
Much Green ICT focuses on computers: servers in the data center and desktops in the office. Don't forget that disk-based data storage, which can cost an organization $25/GB/month, also offers opportunities. Here's a look at the progress manufacturers and users have been making in recent years to manage data storage's energy consumption. SSD is the latest option.
It is easier to avoid controversy in the first place than extract oneself once one has invited it. Apple is finding that its decision to pull out of EPEAT, as described below, continues to dog the company even though Apple had quickly reversed that stance.
Green-certified computer displays are now too numerous to list in table format. Here are where to find them:
EPEAT® - "the definitive global registry for greener electronics" - simplifies its twenty-three required IEEE 1680 criteria and twenty-eight optional ones into a simple Bronze-Silver-Gold designation. EPEAT Gold models meet all required criteria and at least 75% of the optional ones. ~20* manufacturers are now offering over 1200* EPEAT Gold products registered for the United States.
Desktops and workstations are still widely-used in enterprise computing, particularly for demanding applications, although some of these models are targeted to the consumer. Nine manufacturers are offering over 170 models in the EPEAT Gold database. Ace, All-In-One, Dell, HP, and Lenovo offer the most choices; Ace, Grace, Verdio, and Wipro are the latest to have products on one of these green rankings. BenQ and MDG no longer have desktops listed by any ratings systems, so they have been dropped from this table.
The ars technica folks published this informative breakdown of server power consumption in 2007, credited to "Intel and EXP Critical Facilities":
Notebooks, including laptops and netbooks, is the most well-reviewed e-gear category. HP models are noted by all five sources; Apple and Toshiba by four. The EPEAT Gold database includes over 670 models for the US; Samsung, Sony and Toshiba offer the most.
Vertatique has been covering the issue of 'vampire' devices: e-gear that sucks power at night and other times when we think the gear is 'off'. As devices proliferate in the home and office, this becomes an increasing bigger energy drain, even as manufactures and regulators work to (slowly) reduce vampire consumption in some of them. New devices they say it are zero-draw solutions for one class of vampire devices: those ubiquitous bricks (chargers and adapters) into which we plug our e-gear.
While much of the green computer focus worldwide is on laptops, UK companies are doing interesting things with desktops.
Aleutia offers low-power units that "are designed to easily connect to solar power and work in remote places." Case studies include Africa and Central Asia.
VeryPC promotes its Broadleaf desktop as "categorised as ‘Class Leader’ by DEFRA Quick Wins", "BFR, PVC and halogen free in line with ECMA-370, the environmental standard", "the only desktop PC to be endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust Recommended scheme". (More about Green ICT product standards in Europe.)