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.
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.)
Lithium batteries are showing up in everything from personal e-gear to communications backup systems to next-gen electric cars. Will they become the next e-waste? And do you know the important distinction between recycling Li and Li-ion technology?
The EPEAT registration system for IT products is largely used for enterprise purchasing. We've been trying to give it more visibility in the CE/SOHO worlds, so we were pleased to hear that Amazon is adding EPEAT ratings to its site. Amazon's initial implementation is a start, but could be much stronger.
One way to ensure you are purchasing the greenest gear is to buy computers and displays certified as EPEAT Gold. But some EPEAT Gold models offer options that can put specific configurations out of compliance.
The greenest purchase is often no purchase at all. Many items will have made much of their life-cycle energy/carbon impact by the time they hit our loading docks. "Sweating our assets" refers to getting more productivity and longer lifecycles out of what we already have, an even more critical skill now that access to cheap capital has diminished. There are two GreenICT reasons for doing this.
Chlorine's oxidizing power has implicated its various forms in damage to everything from human DNA to the ozone layer. So I noted with interest a new report about the technology industry from Clean Production Action (CPA), whose mission is to "design and deliver strategic solutions for green chemicals, sustainable materials and environmentally preferable products."
Here's a guide to go about finding the greenest e-gear. It's not as easy as it sounds!
The recent "Carbon Reduction Through Digital Delivery" analysis of WSP/Microsoft data generated a comment about vendors passing on energy cost savings from the reduction to download customers. How much are those savings and how much motivation would they provide?