Category Archives: IT Policies, Procedures & Strategy

Sprint joins EPA Electronics Challenge to Encourage Responsible End-of-Life Practices

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Sprint [NYSE:S], named No. 3 on Newsweek’s 2011 Green Rankings, joined the EPA and other electronics leaders at a third-party certified recycling center in Romeoville, Ill., for the signing of the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge.

This new national program is designed to advance the responsible management of used electronics by challenging manufacturers and retailers of electronics to voluntarily commit to sending 100 percent of used electronics collected for reuse and recycling to third-party certified recyclers, increase the total amount of used electronics collected for reuse and recycling, and publically post information and data regarding electronics recovery and disposal. Continue reading

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Utilities Must Bridge the Divide Between IT and OT to Realize the Benefits of the Smart Grid

Uncertainty as to how new IT systems should be incorporated into network operations continues to slow the advance of smart grid technologies.  Though the need to support smart meters has already driven significant change in the utility IT landscape, the evolution of the smart grid from the initial deployment of smart meters to a dynamic, intelligent network supporting bidirectional communications between utilities and customers is only just beginning.  According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the need to define and deploy new IT systems to support the smart grid is driving greater collaboration between the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) sides of the business.

Utilities are taking varied approaches to solving this challenge, says research director Eric Woods.  “In some utilities, the CIO is driving the planning process to achieve an architectural view of IT and OT,” Woods adds.  “Others are allowing operational teams to take the lead in defining requirements, with the IT organization adopting the system provider role.  However, most utilities are focused on defining the new functions and processes required for smart grids, finding ways to work together to achieve this and worrying later about organizational structures.”

The total smart grid software and related IT services market will reach $4.3 billion by the end of 2012, the study finds, and grow to over $8.6 billion by 2017.  North America is leading the initial market in many smart grid IT innovations, but the European and Asia Pacific markets will become more significant over the next five years.  Europe’s drive toward its 20-20-20 carbon-reduction targets is focusing innovation on the issues around renewable integration, energy efficiency, and energy security.  In Asia Pacific, the scale of Chinese investments in grid infrastructure is yet to be matched by an impact on the IT market, but China will become a more active player in the market in coming years, according to the report. Continue reading

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Apple withdraws from EPEAT Certification – Working with EPEAT on Updated Standard

Apple Rejects EPEAT Certification; Still “Eco-Friendly?

By Jared Spurbeck | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Mon, Jul 9, 2012

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Joel Schectman, Apple asked the standards group EPEAT to revoke certification for all of its computers and monitors. EPEAT gives electronics a “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” rating depending on things like how many toxic chemicals are used to make them, and how little power they use. Some of Apple’s products, like the iMac desktop computer, had achieved EPEATGold certification before Apple voluntarily relinquished it.

Why did Apple do this?

EPEAT CEO Robert Frisbee reported that Apple said its “design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements.” Continue reading

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Cloud-Based Services Are Transforming Building Energy Management

Technologies that make buildings smarter and more energy efficient continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with new entrants and solutions announced every week. Many of the new products and services center on the big data that buildings produce in real time.  Buildings have been producing volumes of information for many years, but today, according to a new white paper from Pike Research, many companies are starting to leverage the cloud as the basis for rich software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.

Virtually every leading name in the building services industry has recently launched some form of building energy management system that hosts and manages building data in the cloud, the cleantech market intelligence firm finds.  The white paper, which includes 10 key trends to watch in the smart building market in 2012 and beyond, is available for free download on Pike Research’s website.

“Buildings are becoming smarter through the deployment of intelligent and energy efficient technologies that reduce energy consumption while making buildings easier to manage and operate,” says senior analyst Eric Bloom.  “In addition, advances in software for building energy management systems (BEMS) as well as for building design (through building information modeling, or BIM) are making it easier to design and maintain high performance buildings.  Going forward, many of these advances will find their way to the cloud, making them more accessible over a broader range of applications and geographies.” Continue reading

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The Truth about Technology and eWaste (Infographic)

An excellent infographic that tells the story of eWaste. Continue reading

Posted in Data Centers, Electronics, Green IT, Green Living, IT Asset Management, IT Policies, Procedures & Strategy, Pollution, Print Management, Sustainability News, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iceland Offers Data Centers the Most Competitive Power Prices in Europe

REYKJAVIK, Iceland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Landsvirkjun, Iceland’s national power company has announced its aim to power 1% of the European datacenter industry with electricity from renewable hydroelectric and geothermal sources by the year 2020. The estimated electric energy needed to achieve this target is around 1.5 TWh, about 10% of the company´s current generation. The ambition is based on Iceland´s ample renewable power development opportunities and the fact that the country has been attracting considerable datacenter industry investment drawn by the compelling power proposition, solid infrastructure, and world-class business environment.

“Iceland offers differentiating economic advantages with the most competitive power prices in Europe, a commitment to long term contracts and reliable renewable energy. This makes it particularly attractive for international sustainable business development, especially in sectors such as datacenters where value is attached with being green and secure.”

Landsvirkjun´s power proposition is to provide the most competitive energy prices in Europe. Recent public quotes from the company offer fixed real rates of $43/MWh in 12 year contracts. In comparison, European average real market rates were from $65/MWh in 2011 on short term contracts with prices expected to increase considerably over the coming decade. In addition, Iceland’s power is 100% renewable from hydro and geothermal sources and the quality of delivery has recently been singled out by the World Economic Forum as being among the top three in the world. Continue reading

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New TCO Criteria for IT Offers 3rd Party Verification of Responsible Production

STOCKHOLM, April 1, 2012 /3BL Media / PRNewswire/ – TCO Certified, the international third party sustainability certification for IT products, now requires independent verification of ethical working conditions among electronics manufacturers applying for product certification. In light of recent reports of deficient working conditions at electronics manufacturing plants, the launch of new tightened social responsibility requirements offers the industry an effective and credible way to improve and verify their progress towards more ethical production practices.

Niclas Rydell, Manager for Certification and Development at TCO Development, believes now could be a turning point for the industry as a whole: “From TCO Development’s perspective, we know that professional IT buyers are placing greater demand on their vendors to ensure that products they buy are made in an ethically responsible way. The recent reports of inadequate working conditions, salaries and worker health & safety at Apple supplier Foxconn in China, are no doubt concerning. However we believe the situation is indicative of an industry-wide problem — one where there is a greater need for independent systems that can verify a company’s actions and progress towards key labor conventions established by the ILO. This is what TCO Certified is designed to do. We also welcome the important steps now being taken by FLA and Apple to move their production in a more socially responsible direction.” Continue reading

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Parisleaf Printing and Design Receives CurrentState™ Platinum Certification

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Tulsa, OK – March 19, 2012 – Parisleaf Printing and Design recently completed the CurrentState™ Sustainability Audit and received Platinum Certification – the highest certification level available.

The Client’s Challenge

Parisleaf is a Printing and Design company located in Gainesville, Florida.  Parisleaf provides a variety of services which include printing, branding packages, web and logo design.

Parisleaf’s largest challenge is that traditional print related goods and services can have a significant negative impact on the environment.  Negative impacts occur at all stages of the paper life cycle -  the harvesting of trees, the processing of wood fiber into pulp and  the disposal of paper products at the end of their useful life.

However, Parisleaf has overcome these challenges. They offer carbon negative printing and web solutions to its clients. Parisleaf is able to achieve this because of their innovative green practices and the steps they take to mitigate their effect on the environment.   Continue reading

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