Wednesday, November 28, 2007
As the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, Google wants to find cheaper, more reliable energy to run its power hungry datacenters. Google typically avoids the question of just how much power its datacenters actually consume; some estimate it costs the company as much as $2 million a month. It's no wonder Google wants to invest in a cheaper source.
But Google isn't the only company that stands to gain; its goal is to develop technology that makes clean energy sources less expensive than coal, something beneficial for the entire nation, not to mention the world.
To learn more click here.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, is a system that helps purchasers evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on their environmental attributes. It ranks a computer's eco-friendliness in a manner similar to the way in which LEED certification ranks buildings, on a tiered system of Bronze, Silver and Gold. However, unlike LEED, which can be costly and time-consuming, EPEAT is absolutely free and can be implemented quickly.
The difference with EPEAT is that it places the onus of eco-responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the manufacturers, who then pick and choose which criteria they will adhere to. So far only 12 desktops qualify for EPEAT Gold status.
To learn more click here.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Unfortunately, for the majority of corporate computers, this isn’t the case. Consider these surprising statistics, which suggest that the risk of excessive energy waste is high this coming holiday weekend:
- There are an estimated 43 million active computers across the
in businesses of 300 employees or more US
- Sixty percent of enterprise PCs are normally left running at full-power after business hours
What this means is that, among those mid to large-sized organizations, more than 25.8 million PCs and monitors will be left on for the holiday weekend, wasting an estimated 113 million kWh of electricity and emitting 282.7 million pounds of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, equal to the emissions of 1.7 million mid-sized cars over a four-day period.
113 million kWh would power every residential home in Los Angeles for the entire four-day weekend, and is equivalent to more than 3.3 million gallons of gas used on the road.
Not a festive thought, is it?
Fortunately, close to 500,000 PCs nationwide will be using SURVEYOR software over the holiday weekend, cutting their power consumption by close to 90 percent while eliminating nearly all of their carbon footprint during that time.
If those 25.8 million fully-powered PCs and monitors were using SURVEYOR to manage PCs and monitor power consumption during the Thanksgiving break, they could save a cumulative $5.6 million in energy expenses for four days. That’s why it pays to manage PC power use- for the environment, and for the bottom line.
If your organization isn’t yet using SURVEYOR, please invite your PC to join you in some R&R by turning it off before you leave.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Gore's no stranger to seeking out sustainable investments; he co-founded Generation Investment Management with Goldman Sachs executive David Blood in 2004. Generation now has $1.5 billion in investments.
Gore insists it's not about the money. While those looking to complain might gripe about the salaries paid to such high profile investors, no need to worry here, Gore is putting his money where is mouth is. Gore will be donating his entire Kleiner Perkins salary to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a CA non-profit that advocates for policies to fight global warming.
As Kleiner Perkins plans to spend one-third of its $600 million investment fund on green technology startups next year, there's no denying the immense potential for this new relationship.
To learn more about this partnership click here.
Her premise? That claims such as "environmentally friendly" and "ozone friendly" can be misleading to consumers. There's really no such thing as a completely eco-friendly product, she writes. All products use at least some resources and create waste that's not natural to the planet.
She goes on to point out key takeaways from the FTC's Environmental Marketing Guidelines, including:
You can read more from and about Jacquie on the Sustainable Brands Web site, and sign yourself up for their great weekly newsletter here.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Clear Channel's San Francisco Bay Area office just started using SURVEYOR from Verdiem to monitor and manage its PC energy use and IT carbon footprint. We've been tracking usage and consumption of the office's machines for a few weeks, and the savings this office is about to experience is incredible. Consider the following:
- PCs (including the CPU and monitor) at Clear Channel's San Francisco office are consuming on average 763 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. For 195 PCs, that's 148,820 kWh. Slightly above average, but relatively normal.
- To put that in per-PC usage in perspective, if you left a 75-watt light bulb on 24 hours a day all year, it would consume 657 kWh.
- Using SURVEYOR, Clear Channel PCs will each use just 343 kWh per year. That means they'll be saving 81,859 kWh per year just in their office, reducing carbon emissions each year by a whopping 71,955 pounds!
That's the equivalent of taking seven cars off the road, saving more than 3,700 gallons of gas, and eliminating the equivalent yearly electricity needs of 4.2 households. It's also means more than $11,000 in electricity savings in just the first 12 months for this Clear Channel office.
Amazing results for an office of less than 200 employees!
To learn what kind of cost and carbon savings your business could realize, try this calculator.
Friday, November 9, 2007
CNN Money reported the results of an IBM global survey of nearly 1400 small and midsized businesses, and found that energy costs have faced the "biggest cost increase" over the past two years. The interviewees expressed concern over these cost increases, for both financial and environmental reasons.
The bad news is that US businesses were less likely than their foreign counterparts to know how much their IT systems contributed to their overall costs, a mistake as IT equipment is a major power suck and is ripe for savings.
The good news however is that the majority of SMBs have begun to make at least basic changes in IT, such as installing energy efficient lighting and turning off equipment when not in use. The study indicated that 55% of SMBs are currently taking active steps toward reducing the energy consumption of their information technology, a wise move as recent research from IDC estimates that for very dollar spent on IT, 50 cents is spent on related energy costs. By taking advantage of energy efficient measures and technologies SMBs can mitigate these rising energy costs and focus their efforts on more important issues.
Click here to learn more about IBM's global SMB survey.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tonight's episode will have a decidedly green theme, with the former Vice President making a surprise guest appearance that includes chastising a 30 Rock staffer for leaving her computer on when it's not in use.
Catch it tonight at 8:30 local time.
One of my favorite quotes from Rand is towards the bottom of the interview, when he's asked what he has learned in his job so far:
"All of us in this industry are in a unique position to drive positive change throughout the supply chain by working together to make better decisions that are good for our business, our customers and the environment. We have learned that becoming sustainable is a journey, not a sprint. Any company that wants to become more sustainable needs to realize that the journey will have many ups, downs and turns. But changes, whether small or large, will have a positive impact on the business, the employees, the customer and the environment. My only advice would be to start if you haven’t, and increase your efforts if you have. I have found that the results will be pleasantly surprising."
Read the full interview here.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007
But according to a new poll by BBC World Service, the majority of us are willing to make those changes and sacrifices.
Eighty-three percent of people polled in 21 countries said a change in lifestyle and behavior for their countrymen would be necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sixty-five percent of those polled in the U.S. said that higher energy costs are necessary to curb usage while 79 percent of respondents said American lifestyles must change to reduce emissions.
"While few citizens welcome higher taxes, the poll suggests that national leaders could succeed in introducing a carbon tax on energy," said Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes, which conducted the poll with GlobeScan and BBC World Service. "The key requirement is that their citizens trust that the resulting tax revenues will be invested in addressing climate change by increasing energy efficiency and developing cleaner fuels."
What's even more exciting is that Marvell claims their energy efficiency technology could be adapted for use in internal and external power supplies for a wide range of consumer electronics, creating an even greater opportunity for energy reduction.
By using more efficient power supplies US energy use could be significantly reduced, saving up to 24 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and up to $3 billion annually!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Sunday night's NFL studio show on NBC looked odd at best with the lights off (and looked even worse in HD). The fact that the studio talent clearly weren't taking the PR stunt serious didn't help things either.
NBC should be applauded for bringing much-needed additional attention to a growing global problem, but a week's worth of coverage, green-tinted logos and programming placements is just a start. As the last post pointed out, consumers don't just want promises and marketing campaigns. They demand results.
“In a world of green clutter, conscious consumers expect companies to do more than make eco-friendly claims. They demand transparency and accountability across every level of business practice. Avoiding the green trap means authentically backing your words with socially responsible actions,” says Raphael Bemporad, founding partner of BBMG.
What does this mean? Results. It's important to tell customers what you're doing, but also show them the impact. Show the before and after. Demonstrate the real difference you're making for the environment, and earn the trust, respect and business of your current and future customers.
Read more here.
BusinessGreen tackles that topic today in a great piece contrasting the need for corporate responsibility and policies in organizations with the "rub" that happens when those potential policies get in the way of operations.
The CSRs role is indeed important, but it's true power may still be a few months, maybe 1-2 years, away. Organizations faced a similar challenge 15-20 years ago, when the first CIO positions started popping up in organizations.
In the meantime, CSRs and their peers in the executive suite can find a myriad projects that can have a real impact on corporate sustainability and responsibility, with minimal (if any) impact on employee productivity and existing operations. PC power management, for example, can often be executed in a way that not only saves significantly on power costs, but with no impact or visibility for end users and with added benefits for IT departments - such as greater network control, visibility and uptime.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Many thanks to CarbonFree News for giving us an overview of the suggestions Dell provided for small and medium businesses (SMBs) on November 2nd. As energy prices continue to rise and the use of technology consumes increasing amounts of power, Dell suggested a quick list of green initiatives to help businesses save money.
- Invest in energy efficient products. Many servers on today’s market for example, consume up to 25 per cent less energy than previous generations and many computers use up to 70 per cent less power than previous models.
- Consider power management software to remotely switch PCs off and on. PCs can be set to come on in the mornings, ready for when employees get into the office.
- Invest in server consolidation and virtualization technologies that are more energy efficient and make better use of existing hardware.
- Ensure printers are using the default setting to print double sided; reducing the amount of paper used.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
At the same time, a separate three-year study is demonstrating that companies who apply certain climate-friendly policies are seeing increases in their business and financial performance.
Which story is right?
Probably depends on the details. If companies focus on saving the environment by changing infrastructure, buying new vehicle fleets, and other strategies that create a significantly higher footprint before they start to generate a reduction, then pay-off is hard to find.
But the sustainability world is increasingly full of ways to reduce costs and carbon footprint quickly, inexpensively, and with a very fast payback. PC power management, for example, is being adopted by organizations worldwide as a fast, easy and proven way to reduce costs immediately, while dramatically cutting IT carbon emissions.