Sunday, 28 April 2013

Use EPEAT to purchase green electronics



Companies that are interested in purchasing green electronics have a valuable resource in EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool).  EPEAT is an environmental rating system that identifies green electronics.  EPEAT provides a searchable database for anyone wanting to find out information about environmentally preferable products. 

There are three levels of EPEAT registered products - bronze, silver, and gold, with gold the highest level and bronze the lowest.  The bronze level products meet the basic requirements for EPEAT registration, whereas the gold level products meet the basic requirements and at least 75% of the optional criteria.

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The EPEAT registration criteria are multi-faceted.  They include requirements for the product itself (such as being free of toxic chemicals), for the manufacturer of the product (such as having a written environmental policy), and for service options (such as offering recycling options).

According to EPEAT, the 120 million EPEAT registered products sold in 2011 will: reduce the use of raw materials used by 4.4 million metric tons; reduce the use of toxic materials by 1,381 metric tons; and will reduce the disposal of 74,082 metric tons of hazardous waste.  Furthermore, the fact that EPEAT registered products also meet Energy Star specifications means that the products will consume less energy resulting in over 12 billion kWh of electricity reduction. 

The EPEAT registry system has been expanded to 40 countries and even Amazon.com highlights EPEAT-registered products.  If your company wants more in depth information, EPEAT offers training courses for manufacturers, consultants, suppliers and verifiers.  Visit epeat.net to make sure that your business’s next IT purchase is a green one.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Green IT in a nutshell : The Three "Rs"


Our first post presented what the Green IT is, its definition. What is Green IT?  It is the study and practice of designing environmentally sustainable Green computing solutions; it is all that is done to reduce the impact of computers (hardware and software) on the environment.

An acronym is used to refer the “Green” orientation. This acronym embodies almost all the philosophy and practices around “Green” concepts and approaches. These are the three “Rs” or “RRR”; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


  1. Reduce the consumption of energy. Green IT is a smart way to do the same or more with less electricity consumption and with less hardware usage. This starts with the choice of the IT policy, the choice of the material (for example, for a computer, an LCD screen uses less energy than a classic one).
  2. Reuse what can be re-utilized.  Some companies are specialized in the re-utilization of IT component. A good example is of the manufacturers of cartridges. Many manufacturers of printer and copier cartridges offer the possibility to re-utilize a cartridge. This can easily be done by washing, drying and refilling an empty cartridge. Most of these manufacturers are proponents of this idea because it allows them to reduce the costs of packaging. Another option is to change some components and parts of your computer without changing the whole computer. Some companies, that need to renew their whole IT system after a certain time, choose to offer it to organizations that required less sophisticated systems (school, NGOs, etc.). In the end everyone benefits from this approach.
  3. Recycle what can be utilized after transformation. A lot of computer manufacturers, led by some of the greatest brands (IBM, Xerox, Apple, Canon, Compaq), recycle the systems that are at the end of their useful life. Sometimes, they offer a rebate, or a discount for those who are willing to recycle their computers. Special collection points are incorporated to facilitate the process for those who are willing to recycle their computer. Many computers can be recycled and those that cannot, or can be dangerous, are discarded safely.
By taking in account the three “Rs” in its IT policy, a company can not only improve its results and find smarter ways to manage its hardware, but it can also improve its image and perception among consumers who are now much more aware of the Green concepts and its implications.

Keep visiting our blog !

Sources & References : 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Three Laws for Green IT in the 21st Century


The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) has been a constant supporter of Green IT initiatives around the world. WWF in partnership with HP (Hewlett-Packard) has been focused on identifying potential sources to reduce CO2 emissions in its drive towards a sustainable 21st century-IT society.


In one of its reports on Green IT, the WWF mentions the following rules that could serve as a framework for conceptualizing a Green IT Strategy. These rules reference Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and can be seen as a guide to a Green IT strategy.

      The First Law : Sustainable IT solutions need to be purposely used for CO2 reductions to take place.
[Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.]
For people to start using sustainable IT solutions, governments need to ensure that these solutions are implemented, and not just spoken about. No change will take place unless companies start to use sustainable IT solutions.

     The Second Law : The amount of support that is needed to implement sustainable IT solutions depends on how much old companies and policy makers are obstructing necessary change (due to fear of losing influence and money).
[The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma]
There is a need for a critical mass of stakeholders to push solutions forward to balance out the influence from opposing stakeholders. These companies can become a powerful force against sustainable IT transformative change.

     The Third Law : For each IT solution used, there is a counter effect that can either strengthen or weaken the momentum towards a low-carbon society.
[For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.]
It is important for companies and governments to apply carefully those strategies that enable further reduction in CO2 emissions, through constant assessment and feedback.

Although, there are no strict guidelines for Green Computing, these rules can be observed by companies, institutions, and governments as a means to move forward to implement and take up a long-lasting action towards reducing their Carbon Footprint. 

Link : Sources & Reference to the Blog Post

Sunday, 7 April 2013

How Green IT can reduce your energy bill

Previous posts spoke about the impact of Green IT on business. Green IT is not another Green label. The fact is that Green IT awareness does good to your business.

This post focuses on the energy consumption in IT and provides some solutions to reducing the energy bill of the company. Particularly, this post explores the ways to significantly minimize the bill pertaining to the energy consumed by the servers of a company. The server is at the heart of many company’s IT’s system and IT’s policy.

Energy consumption represents 10% of the functioning costs of a server. This share of the costs could easily rise to 50% without a policy that considers the reduction of those IT costs. More often these days the company’s work is digitalized and this “all computer” policy, which sometimes reduce other costs such as the paper costs, increase the servers and energy costs. According to some studies by the IDC, in the coming years, for $1 invested in the hardware of the company, $1 will be spent for the energy.
                                                    
One suggestion to reduce the cost of the servers is to optimize their utilization. Most of the servers of companies are under utilized. On average, servers utilize 5% of their capacity (for you to have an illustration, think about how much of the storage capacity in your personal computer, smartphone, external hard drive and other storage possibilities you use). An unused server consumes 56% of its maximum power. Today, thanks to the evolving technologies of the data’s storage, and the increase in efficiency of the hard drive, more data can be stored on smaller devices.

Another source of costs is the cooling system of the servers’ rooms. The cooling represents 40% of the energy consumed by a server. As the cooling requires energy to run, a significant part of the energy bill comes from the cooling system of a company. To lower the cost of the cooling system, a new system of cooling, called water cooling is very efficient and highly reduce the costs of the cooling system of the IT system of a company.

Another solution to reduce the energy bill of a company is to use energy management software that could optimize the energy consumption of the IT of a company. This is a simple way to reduce the energy bill.
In addition to the previously mentioned solutions, the virtualization of the servers significantly reduces the electricity bill. Through virtualization, different servers are united in one server. This not only allows for a more efficient management of the company’s servers, but it also reduces the wastes generated by a multiplication of the number of servers.

It is worth mentioning that the Green IT approaches can have an impact on a company only if the top management of the company is involved. For there is a need of the implication of the top of the company to agree on decisions such as the choice of an IT policy that will drive many of the choices and options mentioned above.

The above mentioned solutions are some ways that may help you reduce your energy bill and be Green IT oriented. While Green IT may be viewed as another “green” fad, the fact is that reducing your company’s energy bill will not only help your bottom line, it will also lead to a reduction in your energy consumption, thereby reducing your CO2 emissions.

We invite you to continue visiting our blog.

Link : Sources & References for the Blog Post