Government entities have an important role to play in encouraging sustainable ICT across all industries. Effective leadership requires internal implementation, as well. The tag at the top of this post - government - helps you easily locate posts containing opportunities for and applications of Green ICT in government operations. (Green ICT in public education is found through the education tag.)
The New York Times reported in March 2013 that the U.S. Federal Government is trying, but not always succeeding, to make sure its e-waster is properly recycled. "The Obama administration, more than any of its predecessors, has strengthened oversight of electronic waste. In 2012, the General Services Administration enacted rules discouraging all agencies and federal contractors from disposing of it in landfills. The federal government, which is among the world’s largest producer of electronic waste, disposes more than 10,000 computers a week on average. Federal agencies are failing to sufficiently track their electronic waste, and large amounts of it are still being disposed of through public or online auctions, according to a Government Accountability Office report last year. In these auctions, the waste is often sold to a first layer of contractors who promise to handle it appropriately, only to have the most toxic portion subsequently sold to subcontractors who move it around as they wish."
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:
Google offers frequent updates on its Green ICT progress. Here is the most recent, along with past updates.
Photos, inside and out, of Google's data centers. Note that most locations include a reference to some green initiative.
This has not been detailed on Google's useful blog, but Grist reports that "Google’s new $700 million data centers in Taiwan will make ice at night, when electricity is significantly cheaper, and use it to cool the buildings during the day."
Google announced in January 2012, "All of our U.S. owned and operated data centers have received ISO 14001…certification. We’re the first major Internet services company to gain external certification for those high standards at all of our U.S. data centers." Here are some of the specifics.
The ecoATM is "...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." What happens to the collected e-waste?
Traditional ICT facilities consume as much energy cooling their gear as powering it the first place. One solution is to re-use the waste heat.
"Designed for the Dump" is the theme of The Story of Electronics, a cartoon from the The Story of Stuff Project and the Electronics Takeback Coalition. The video is a breezy but comprehensive tour of the issues inherent in the lifecycles of our e-gear. It would be a good starting point for Green ICT professionals to educate non-technical audiences. Take a look.
This 1958 short film by acclaimed director Frank Capra anticipates in its 79 seconds many visual elements now familiar from today's media.
Ann Livermore, executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard's Technology Solutions Group, said in a recent Harvard Business podcast that IT organizations spend 70% of their budgets "just running stuff" and 30% on innovation. Observing that 40% of companies in the top quartile of their industries can loose their leadership positions during a recession,