The Latest Vertatique News & Insights

Cryptocurrency Mining Is a Significant Component of ICT Electricity Consumption

We've tracked the growing environmental impact of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin since 2013. It now appears that the cryptocurrency mining's GHG footprint is equal to that large cities. This is not good news for the planet.

We previously cited an estimate that put 2006 energy consumption of search engines at about that of the United States city of Las Vegas. It now appears that cryptocurrency mining can make a similar claim about its GHG footprint. Science Daily reported in June 2019 on the findings from a team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). "The use of Bitcoin causes around 22 megatons in CO2 emissions annually -- comparable to the total emissions of cities such as Hamburg or Las Vegas." One reason this number is so high is the location of mining operations. "...the team was able to localize 68 percent of the Bitcoin network computing power in Asian countries, 17 percent in European countries, and 15 percent in North America." Asian electricity production tends to be more coal-based than other regions.

Finding the Greenest Tablets

The availability of tablets suitable for Green ICT purchasing has declined percipitously over the past year. We could identify only three manufacturers offer one model each. The sluggish global market for tablets may account for manufacturers' lack of interest in certifying new models.

Finding the Greenest Office Equipment

Many Green ICT certification and registration programs cover categories of office equipment other than the major ones for which we publish separate articles. (See list to the right.) Our latest update revealed no new categories and no overall increase in the number of models available. We also note an EPA-recognized toner cartridge remanufacturing initative.

Green ICT Innovations

Researchers and businesses are advancing innovative ideas with potential for mainstream Green ICT. These range from products and services available today to futuristic concepts for tomorrow. The latest is Dell's gold recycling program, including the creation of jewelry from motherboard gold.

Finding the Greenest Mobile Phones

A full update of this survey is planned for June. In the meantime, we are noting an achievement by USA carrier Sprint.

Finding the Greenest Televisions

The January 2019 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) gave a Sustainability and Eco-design award to the LG 55E9 55-inch E9 OLED 4K TV. CES noted the model was "...made of eco-friendly and recyclable materials including natural glass."

The LG 55E9 is not listed in the EPEAT Televisions Registry, but the listed LG models are all registered as 'Silver' or 'Bronze'.

In fact, the entire EPEAT Televisions Registry is still disappointing. There are no Gold units for the United States and only 158 Silver, mostly from Samsung.

Scandinavia's Nordic Ecolabel (Svanen) registry lists 88 models, up a little from last year. Samsung makes 78 models; the others are from Philips.

No televisions were recognized in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Champion Award category of the 2018 Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge.

Green ICT Conferences

The most comprehensive directory of Green ICT conferences, workshops and other events around the world. Latest additions are events in France and Croatia.

Vertatique has started a listing of calls for papers for Green ICT publications.


Are Dockless Electric Bikes & Scooters the Next E-Waste?


3 red dockless e-bikes on beach cliff
Dockless E-Bikes on Beach Cliff -San Diego CA USA
dockless e-scooter on beach
Dockless E-Scooter on Beach- San Diego CA USA

Dockless electric scooters and bicycles are emerging as the flexible urban transportation alternative. Electric personal transporters (EPTs) offer advantages in cost, urban congestion and environmental footprint, but contain lithium batteries and other electronic components. Do abandoned EPTs pose an e-waste threat?

Finding the Greenest Set-top Boxes

The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. The program uses a metric called Total Energy Consumption (TEC).

There were only four models rated at 50 TEC or less this year, less than half as many as a year ago. Apple TV, with two of the four models, is by far and away the most efficient, helped by its very low stand-by power consumption.

The European Union has a program for STB energy efficiency and we've listed the manufacturers that signed its Code of Conduct. There are also three European STB models that received the German Ecolabel.

Finding the Greenest Digital Signage

Digital signage is now deployed everywhere, but large digital billboards can consume up to 30X the electricity of a typical American home. Despite the grow of digital signage and its environmental footprint, only one organization rates digital signage and only one company gets top marks.

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