What is Green

Did you Know that:

If all lighting across Europe were switched to from energy inefficient to the latest efficient technology, it would save per year:
  • 4.3 billion euros running costs
  • 28 million tons of CO2

Application of Green Technology in ComputingGreen Technology is the application of environmental science to offer economically viable solutions that conserve the natural environment and resources, and curb the negative impacts of human involvement.

The proliferation of data centers required the constant addition of server, cooling and ventilation equipment that led to an ever-increasing demand of energy and increased presence of toxic and hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and others. This made people look at ways to apply green technology in computing to mitigate the serious environmental and health concerns.

Some examples of the application of green technology in computing include:

Energy Star Ratings

The first major landmark in the history of green computing was the US Environmental Protection Acency (EPA)`s Energy Star program, launched in 1992. “Energy Star” is a voluntarily labeling program that segregates computers, monitors and other equipment based on their energy efficiecy .

The biggest impact of the Energy Star ratings was manufacturers introducing the “Sleep mode” in computers to attain a higher rating. Sleep mode places the consumer’s electronic equipment on standby when no user activity takes place during the pre-set time.

The revised Energy Star Specifications of 2007 place stringent requirements to attain energy star ratings. The new specifications determine efficient use of computing technology through guidelines such as the company’s e-waste reduction, regulatory compliance, telecommuting policies, server resource virtualization, energy use cost accounting, thin client solutions, and the like. Existing equipment has to re-qualify to continue using the Energy Star logo.

1997 Kyoto Protocol

A landmark event in the history of green technology is the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This protocol mandates reducing carbon emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol made computer manufacturers undertake energy audits to calculate the electricity used by the device over its lifetime and determine the quantum of carbon dioxide emissions to take remedial action.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE):

The European Union’s adoption of Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in February 2003 is a landmark in the history of green computing. The RoHS directive restricts the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ether in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipments.

The implementation of the RoHS was through the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) of 2005. This directive set targets for collection, recycling, and recovery of electrical goods, aimed at reducing toxic e-waste.

These regulations forced manufacturers to use non-hazardous materials in the production of chipsets, processors, and companion chips.

Green Electronics Council’s Electronic Products Environmental Assessment (EPEAT):

The Green Electronics Council established in 2005 focused on special issues related to electronics and sustainability, and sought constructive paths.

One of the spin-offs of the Green Electronics Council was the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), a set of standards based on the IEEE 1680 Standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer products. These standards aimed at increasing the efficiency and life of the products, and minimizing energy expenditures and maintenance activities throughout the life of the product.

The development of EPEAT took three years and funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and since then has created a $60 billion market incentive for greener laptops, desktops, and monitors.

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