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ICT e-waste, cyber-waste, reuse & recycling

Vertatique's Website Statement of Sustainable Computing


Vertatique.com strives for sustainability through these actions:

We run our site on an Intel 5100 series server with energy-saving features.

Hosting uses virtualization to reduce energy consumption / heat generation from idling resources during periods of low utilization.

Our office is powered by 100% renewable energy (wind) and practices office paper source reduction and recycling.

We offset carbon emissions from the operation of our externally-hosted website.

We dispose of our out-of-service electronics through an ISO 14001 certified recycler

Learn how to create your Statement

Suppliers, Retailers, and Consumers

Consumer electronics suppliers will face growing scrutiny of their sustainability practices from retailers. But consumers need to support these efforts by evolving their behavior. Sierra Magazine reports:

"With the power of a good-size country, Wal-Mart has put the squeeze on its 60,000 suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint. Starting in 2008, the retailer will use data from suppliers to measure the impact of its entire supply chain. The incentive: Wal-Mart promises better placement in stores for products that have addressed sustainability issues."

But adds:

Personal Electronics

The website for the The Green Book cites a number of statistics that can motive more sustainable use of personal electronics:

"Unplug your power. Ten percent of the electricity used in your home is burned by communication devices and appliances when they are turned off!" (These are sometimes referred to as "vampire devices" because they silently drain power during the night.)

CES: e-Waste and Recycling

The consumer electronics and computer businesses have become synonymous with high rates of (some say planned) obsolescence.

Over twenty US states have or are considering electronics recycling laws, so manufactures are beginning to respond. Three major players - Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba - announced at CES that they are forming the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM).

Recycling is "downstream" solution to the e-waste problem. The "upstream" solution is to rethink product design and marketing to encourage long-term use, not rapid replacement. Additional product design initiatives could reduce toxic components and make recycling easier and cheaper.

Other items of note:

CES: Greener Power Supplies and Batteries

The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which touts itself as the largest carbon-neutral trade show,  is featuring lots of "green gadgets". Vertatique will be tracking the news coming out of the show, please comment if you have specific experience with any of these devices. Our first CES post features companies offering a new generation of power supplies for computers and other devices. One, Green Plug, cites the following 2008 power supply statistics on its web site:

WEEE and Biomed

Europe's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive holds manufacturers "responsible for taking back and recycling electrical and electronic equipment.". While biomed device manufactures may have some short-term exemptions, the handwriting is on the wall . . .

Sierra Magazine: Green Computing and Green Media Production

The Sierra Club's magazine hit a Vertatique double in the March/April issue, but I could not find any indication the Club, magazine, or web site practices green computing.

1.  A profile/interview with Sun Microsystems' Dave Douglas on green computing and related topics.

2.  Stats on sustainability issues in movie productions . . .

Laptops: The Green Choice

A PC Today magazine article advocates choosing laptops over desktops:

1.  Smaller form factor means lower impact on both the manufacturing and recycling end of the lifecycle.

2.  Battery life issues force a low energy consumption design: ~50% less than a desktop.

3.  Many laptops comply with European standards for the reduction of hazardous substances (RoHS) and recycling (WEEE).

Interesting stats from the article . . .

Green Packaging for Media

We first addressed the issue of more sustainable packaging for media over four years ago - you can read the original post below. A couple of years later, we looked at Fox's work to determine the carbon footprint of a DVD. A host of innovative packaging options have sprung up since, well illustrated by NBC/Universal.

Packaging tactics from the Green is Universal website include:

Linux as a Green Computing Tool?

Linux, which can often run on hardware what is under-powered for the new versions of Windows, is being touted as a way to extend the life of older machines and thus avoid both the impact of disposing of them as well as manufacturing new ones. Google searches of relevant keywords will turn up dozens of sites addressing everything from home users converting old PCs to corporate users configuring thin-clients for enterprise networks.

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