We noted in a 2008 post about the SMART 2020 report that while ICT emits GHGs, its potential to reduce them in other sectors was 5X greater. Now, a follow-up report - SMARTEer2020 - calculates ICT's leverage at 7X.
Apple Does the Right Thing!
Apple has reversed its EPEAT position in response to feedback like this. VP Bob Mansfield writes, "I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT." Read Mansfield's entire letter.
"Come On, Steve, You Can Do Better" was the title of a post I wrote almost two years ago, questioning why Apple was such a laggard on environmental issues. Since then, Apple has made considerable progress, which we have consistently recognized in our posts. Two issues still tarnish the company's attempt to polish a greener Apple: its off-shore manufacturing and its decision this week to pull its products from EPEAT certification.
A lot has changed since we wrote three years ago: "Yahoo plans to go carbon neutral by the end of 2007. Part of this will be achieved through carbon offsets, including hydroelectric and sustainable agriculture projects in Brazil." Co-founder and Chief Yahoo David Filo now says, "Reducing our carbon footprint has always been a priority and we’ve decided to focus all our energy and investment on that philosophy. We will no longer purchase carbon offsets as announced in 2007. Instead, we’ll focus our resources on reducing our carbon impact while helping the rest of the industry do the same. We believe creating highly-efficient data centers will have a greater long-term, direct impact on the environment and gives us the best opportunity to play a leadership role in addressing climate change."
Another focus appears to be reducing the amount of water typically consumed by a data center. Here is Yahoo's report about its newest data center, the Lockport, NY "Chicken Coop":
I asked a person involved in a green initiative how her organization assembled evidence of their material impact on the community's carbon footprint. She was clearly taken aback by my question and replied to the effect that, "We haven't, but I believe that we are moving the community toward a tipping point." Her response was instructive on two counts.
An investment in effective stakeholder engagement is critical to obtain support prior to commencing a project, to ensure effective and efficient implementation, and to assess and share value afterward. This is an often-neglected element of Green ICT projects.
It's time to embrace an evidence-based discipline for designing and executing green initiatives. The value of this extends well beyond Green ICT.
The CIO Executive Board has identified what it calls "two critical activities to successfully sustain green IT projects." These tie to our "Keeping It Real" criteria, which are critical to long-term credibility of any green initiative.
Proposed California Energy Commission (CEC) regulations to improve television set energy efficiency by 49% could mean significant changes to its consumer electronics market and possibly that of the United States as a whole. This activity comes at a time when the International Energy Agency is expressing concern about the energy/carbon implications of global television set ownership soaring past the two billion level.
The German company scored A+ while the three American companies scored B+ in Claremont McKenna College's Entertainment Sector Analysis of sustainability. Ten others scored B- to D+. But even the top performers have a long way to go.