were critical of Apple's environmental stance a few years ago, saying that the company was positioned to be a leader rather than a a foot-dragger. Since then, the company has made significant strides, such as improvements to its take-back recycling programs*. On the downside, issues about its Chinese contract manufacturing operations have been slow to be resolved. Recent actions toward addressing labor issues need to be matched with ones addressing environmental issues. Factory pollution takes a toll on both workers and neighbors and a July 2013 report alleges problems still persist. Yet Apple continues to improve its environmental position in China - producing solar power is its latest initative.
Eleven manufacturers are offering over 230 models of desktop computers in the EPEAT USA Gold database, about the same number as a year ago. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Apple offer the most choices.
Sweden's TCO Development certified 32 products, down from a high of 80. Most manufacturers appear to have dropped out of TCO certification in this category; only Hewlett Packard and Lenovo now participate.
Germany's Blue Angel only lists models from Fujitsu.
Acer/Gateway and Phillips no longer offer qualifying models and have been removed from the list. Wyse is new to the list this year.
Green-certified computer displays are now too numerous to present in table format. Here is how to find the most sustainable displays, including projectors, listed by two certification services.
The EPEAT Gold database includes 389 models for the US. This represents a drop of ~30% over a year ago. The biggest drops came from Toshiba (-47%) and Samsung (-76%), the companies that offer the most models a year ago. Toshiba is still a model count leader, along with HP and Apple. The latter two companies increased their models counts in the past year.
Workplace social site Cafe Quill has published GreenHab the Office infogrpahic (below). It has many good practices; we're were particularly glad to be reminded of one of the more mundane but still important aspects of Green ICT. And the reminder came with a shocking statistic!
We wrote in 2012 about the ecoATM, "…an automated self-serve kiosk system that uses patented, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy-back used electronics directly from consumers for cash or store credit." In 2013, we noted the EcoATM concept had been accused of facilitating the theft of e-devices. Now, we note ecoATM appears to be thriving and has received an international sustainability award.
We are constantly on the lookout for ICT-intensive communities who appear under-engaged in global Green ICT awareness. More active participation from these communities could do much to advance ICT sustainability. We identified American higher education and global ICT4D advocates as two communities where more effective embrace of Green ICT has significant potential. Console gamers comprise another such community. This is important because research firm IHS has marked game consoles for production growth in 2014.
Consumers and businesses shopping for ICT gear and accessories can see which products contain potentially hazardous chemicals. This is due to a state of California (USA) law requiring such disclosure. Shopping on Amazon illustrates how this works.
Traditional household appliances have become more energy efficient in the past forty years, but households have not. The growing use of electronics plays a major role in the failure to benefit from more efficient appliances.
Here we track gear for consumers and small businesses seeking ICT resiliency. This is a wide range of ICT-related gear suitable for areas or situations lacking reliable grid power. Our latest is a portable stove uses twigs for fuel to cook and to charge a smartphone.