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Sustainability in Communications Technology (CT) equipment, infrastructures and operations, including telecom, broadcast, & networking

Mobile Devices Are Driving the Cloud's Growth

Mobile devices replace the storage capacity and I/O options laptops with a host of cloud services. We first saw this when iPhone users began placing unprecedented demands on the cloud in 2009. Statistics compiled since then reveal the the amazing growth and scope of this demand. This only increases the urgency for cloud providers go green.

ICTworks wrote in March 2017, "Of the 1.2 billion people who lack basic energy access around the world, 772 million are covered by mobile networks." This means that the bases stations serving these are likely power all or in part by dirty diesel generators. The situation will get worse as coverage expands unless we have a covered effort to integrate #GreenICT into #ICT4D.

There Are Many Options for Aging ICT Gear

A MarketsandMarkets report says, "The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 93.5 million tons in 2016 from 41.5 million tons in 2011 at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2011 to 2016." Three strategies for dealing with an organization's aging ICT gear are scrap, external reuse, and internal reuse. Internal reuse offers a growing number of increasingly sophisticated options while external reuse is revealing some unintended consequences. Reuse options are growing for home devices, as well.

"Energy Harvesting" Powers Small Wireless Devices

We've been tracking the potential of "energy harvesting" to power devices without conventional batteries or grid connections since 2011. The latest market entrants demonstrate this segment continues to expand to meet the need son the Internet of Things (Iot).

Sol Chip's "Everlasting Solar Battery" "...integrates all the components required — in a single battery unit — to harvest and supply sustainable solar/light energy to low-power applications." Sol Chip was recognized as a 2016 Sustainia 100 solution. The Sustainia citation noted the potential impact on IoT e-waste "...by limiting the need to continuously replace batteries and reducing the associated costs and waste."

Global Green ICT Update: Asia-Pacific

Short updates from Asia-Pacific. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Asia-Pac' tag above for all news about the region. Our latest item looks at the scope of GreenICT.

The 2016 Seed Awards in India are promoting a "Green ICT" theme, but the description is a little off. "Does your eco-inclusive enterprise demonstrate social & environmental impacts through application of information and communications technology? Or does it provide solutions for sustainable consumption or production using information and communications technology?" This appears to be an example of confusing GreenICT with ICT4Green, nevertheless, we would encourage any enterprise with a true Green ICT focus to consider entering. This can help align ICT4D with Green ICT.

Renewable Energy for Remote Telecom

This is solar-powered base station on top of a mountain in Lapland (Finland).

Remote ICT infrastructures are embracing renewable energy for everything from earthquake mitigation in Japan to CO2e reduction in India. Fuel/power costs appear to have gone down since 2009 for off-grid mobile operations, but are still significant. Asia leads world in current renewable base stations and in growth potential. One operator - Indus Towers - now has 20,000 zero-diesel sites.

Broadcast Is an Important Part of ICT - and of Green ICT!

The "C" in ICT stands for "communications" and broadcast is a significant component of that industry and technology segment. Consider the statistics.

Conflict Minerals and the Hidden Cost of e-Devices

Our e-devices contain all sorts of exotic materials, many of which, like tungsten, tantalum, and tin, are refined from ores that originate in Central Africa. Called "conflict minerals", they fund warfare in the Congo and neighboring countries. More people are said have been killed here than any conflict since World War Two. Progress is being made, but legal setbacks and weak laws are slowing efforts. The latest critiicisms focus on proposed EU regulations.

Technologies for the Future of Green ICT

There is a rich global mix of advanced concepts and technologies emerging from research labs that may improve the future sustainability of ICT equipment and infrastructures. We regularly update this post with technologies of interest. (You can see all the technologies which hold the promise of greener ICT in the future by clicking the 'FutureTech' tag, above.) Our latest posts span research into biological agents that can recover gold from e-waste to multiferroic materials to reduce device waste heat.

The Scope of eWaste in Latin America

GSMA has published a report and a couple of infographics about e-waste in Latin America. The infographics are displayed in full, below. This report is sign of growing Green CT awareness in the region.

The full report - GSMA's May 2014 report "eWaste en América Latina- is published in spanish, but an executive summary and one of the inforgraphics is available in english. Here are some highlights.

The Growth in Global Telecom GHG Emissions

Vertatique strives to cover the CT, as well as the IT, in Green ICT, with attention to networking, broadcast, telephony, and other communications infrastructure elements. Our latest update to this post looks at GHG emission from various segments of mobile telecommunications: network access services, device charging, and industry supply chain.

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