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Sustainability in Communications Technology (CT) equipment, infrastructures and operations, including telecom, broadcast, & networking

Finding the Greenest Set-top Boxes

The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. About twenty set-top boxes (STBs) or cable, IP, or satellite from seven manufacturers came in at less than 65W in the program's Total Energy Consumption (TEC) metric. This is a big improvement from two years ago, when our top twenty cut-off was 100W.

Non-Chemical Batteries Emerge for ICT Facilities and Infrastructure

What is a battery? A device to store energy and convert it to electricity on demand? This is an important question as ICT facilities and infrastructure elements increasingly rely on sophisticated battery-based systems such as UPS. Potentially greener alternatives are emerging to chemical batteries, with flywheels appearing to have the most momentum for ITC facilities going into 2013.

Let's start by reviewing the role energy storage devices play in ICT. A 2011 APC white paper lists three applications:

Diesel Generators: ICT's Dirty Component

Belching diesel equipment is not what one imagines when visualizing the Internet and mobile communications. It turns out they play a significant role in ICT's consumption of fossil fuels and emission of GHG.

Finding the Greenest Mobile Phones

We've added newer rankings for mobile and smart phones, but left the original ones below for those looking to reuse an older unit.

Carbon Footprint of Mobile Services

British mobile services provider O2 has produced statistics[1] about the carbon footprint of individual activities such as a phone call and a data download. This came from the company's effort to become the first carrier to independently certify its carbon footprint. Information like this is important to organizations wishing to account for emissions from their cloud use in carbon audits[2].

Green Communications in Europe

Europe has a number of initiatives and conferences focused on the 'C' in "Green ICT'.

TREND logoTREND 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."

ECOnet logoThe 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)."

Call for Papers - Green Communications

Conferences covering the topic of "green communications" are plentiful this year. Some have March 2012 submission deadlines.

Greener Telecom Part of China's Five-Year Plan

Excerpts from an address at the International Telecommunications Union's 2011 Green Standards Week sheds light on on Green ICT initiatives within China's communications industry.

Canada's Green Network Has Asian Node

I wrote of the launch of Canada's GreenStar Network over two years ago. The announcement of an Asian node late last year in this "zero-carbon" network is a measure of the project's progress since then.

Moving to "Zero Email"

Email and email attachments have less environmental impact than physical delivery. But email is not without its own costs, both in terms of energy/carbon footprints and organizational productivity. A French company has taken a hard look at this and announced that it will move toward "zero email". At the same time, a German company has stopped its servers from routing some email after hours.

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