Environmental Policies and Computing

I’ve not written about this for a while, but I’ve just started seeing Apple’s Greenwash adverts, so I went and found the latest Greenpeace electronics report which says:

“Apple’s score increases slightly to 4.3 points, but the company drops to 14th position. Apple scores well for putting products on the market whose key components are free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC vinyl plastic […] All Apple products should be free of these substances by the end of 2008, which will challenge other PC makers to follow their lead. […] Apple scores poorly on most e-waste criteria, except for reporting a recycling rate in 2006 of 18% as a percentage of sales 7 years ago. It does slightly better on energy criteria for disclosing the carbon footprint of every model of product – although not exactly what is being evaluated in the criterion.”

I feel that it’s hard to push the large electronics companies by direct action and purchasing decisions (although I will continue to try). Regulations must be introduced too and now the EC has issued a Code of Conduct on Data Centres Energy Efficiency [TreeHugger report]. TTLLP has been slowly getting out of data centres for the last few years – between the toxic e-waste in servers and rising energy costs, with most of our competitors ignoring both of them, it was too hard to do the right thing and be profitable. I think the market is ready for a step-change to green data centres and we can’t do that alone. Expect a new TTLLP-branded venture early next year…

Finally, tomorrow, on 11 December, our governments will decide Europe’s response to climate change for the next 12 years. Take 2 minutes to tell them to keep global warming below 2°C.

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