by ANDY CANHAM, President Sun Microsystems Canada
The green trend in technology is starting
to show its age. Not for lack of potential, of course: the creation of
energy-efficient, eco-friendly products could prove to be the greatest
business opportunity of our time. As green ideals gain international
attention, more companies are considering the environmental impact of their
business decisions. Unfortunately, the market is full of green claims that
might or might not pass the sniff test, and it’s often difficult to separate
the supportable claims from the greenwash.
At Sun, we continue our long term
commitment to building products that are dramatically more efficient and
more eco-responsible – from product and packaging design to power usage and
our global take-back and recycling programs.
by JASON GROSSE
As far as green building practices in ICT go, SAS Canada has not only set the standard they created it.
Standing in the reception area of SAS’s Toronto office, Jerry McDermott, Manager of Real Estate Development says the building is about more than just being green, it’s part of “an overall culture of wellness at SAS.”
“[We wanted to] Create the best possible place for employees to work … to keep people healthier … and keep them coming back every morning.”
According to McDermott, it has worked. He points to a 35 per cent reduction in sick days per person, per year, since the move in 2005.
Part of this reduction in sick days came from the improved environment within the building.
McDermott points to the use of under floor-based air distribution systems which distribute conditioned air directly to where it is required and uses body heat and equipment heat to help warm and move the air. Other features include indirect overhead lighting combined with task-based lighting, LCD based monitors and over 90 per cent laptop use in the office, fully recyclable and recyclable flooring and construction, low-odour, non-toxic, flooring materials, and low-and zero VOC paints.
“We want to use the building as a tool to attract and retain high-quality staff,” says McDermott.
McDermott is happy to place a dollar figure on part of the savings. In comparison, he says, a typical commercial office building can use approximately seven watts per square foot to power the building and electrical loads where the SAS building is currently using 2.9 watts per square foot for all building and tenant loads including lighting and equipment.
“Based on our electrical bill for February and March we’re saving $30,000 a month in power alone.”
Another cost saving benefit is the rooftop rainwater collection system which collects rain, stores it in on-site tanks and recycles it throughout the low-flow toilets and urinals inside SAS. This adds up to about 160,000 free flushes annually for SAS and its tenants said McDermott.
As for the additional costs associated with the building, McDermott says the five to seven per cent initial costs are offset by the operating costs savings and the premium rents that a building of this type attracts.
“We’ve proven that these types of buildings pay back and the payback is huge for the investment.”
To view a presentation on SAS’s Toronto office, click here.
by LYNDA LEONARD
Jeff Wacker is the Chief Futurist for EDS. He’s been talking about the environmental implications for IT for a number of years now. But in 2008 it seems like the present has caught up to the future in a big way.
“We’re having to codify our green behaviour in ways that corporations haven’t seen before,” he said. Jeff is an in-demand speaker who addresses CIO Summits all around the world. “We always ask the participants at these events to identify their top ten concerns. Six months ago, and for many years past, green IT was either last or second to last on the list. Now it’s in the top two and will probably stay there for a while."
Jeff sees the issue as two pronged – as he puts it “Green IT” and “IT to be Green”. Green IT starts with the recognition that IT is a culprit in our environmental problems and needs to be fixed. “Current estimates suggest that 1.8 to two per cent of the world’s total electrical power is going to run computers,” he said. “And the expectation is that we’ll double that by 2010. We simply can’t afford this.”
Power-sucking data centres could be one of the biggest limitations to the natural evolution of computing. Jeff points out that the overloaded power grids of some major urban centres like London simply can’t accommodate exponential growth. This presents the need for better solutions than simply relocating data centres to the boondocks. “It’s the support systems for data centres that use up the energy,” he said. “Simple practices can significantly reduce energy consumption … We can do things like isolating the cold aisle from the hot aisle. Dust is another part of the problem that’s pretty easy to fix – routine removal of the coating of dust on equipment. No-brainer solutions like these can reduce energy consumption by 40 per cent.”
But Green IT will also demand new ways of thinking about the way we design IT systems, too. Jeff points out that when customers start to realize that the cost to run a server may exceed the annualized cost of the server that will impose pressure for change on the whole industry. “In a modern IT system, we can estimate that ten per cent of the functions that electricity is powering are fully duplicated. And another 20 to 40 per cent of the process encounters inefficient code. This stems from a paradigm that viewed coding as free and placed a value on duplication as a means to ensure fidelity. The scarcity and cost of energy is not going to allow us to think this way any more.”
This new way of thinking will bring changes right to the desktop. Today we think nothing of forwarding e-mail and attachments to multiple correspondents. This has a huge impact on data storage capacity. Jeff cites a survey that shows 60 to 70 per cent of corporations plan to double their storage capacity over the next five years. Storing data consumes energy and this too may prompt new protocols for the way we exchange and share documents.
“IT to be Green” holds its own challenges and opportunities for the industry. Jeff sees tremendous possibilities in innovations like “tele-presence” citing a Cisco service that revolutionizes conventional teleconferences. “IT will also play a huge role in building management systems,” he said. “There is a great deal of waste in the way we heat and light commercial buildings and in the way we run our infrastructure systems. Smart systems and servers – all at their heart based on computing – can have a big impact.”
The purpose of Jeff’s forward thinking is to provide EDS with a competitive edge on new lines of business or new ways of doing business. It’s up to Frank Hart, Vice-President and General Manager, Canada and the team he leads to make business sense of what Jeff sees. “Clients are looking for green solutions in their data centre,” he said. “Vendors are under new obligations to factor ‘green’ into their solutions. Some large clients will insist that a vendor sign on their specific green commitments.”
For example, EDS has a major agreement with the Government
of British Columbia to provide revenue management services. B.C. has placed
a public policy priority on environmental responsibility. It is aggressively
building a strong green brand for the province and it clearly expects it
partners to step and comply.
Sometimes presenting clients with an effective green strategy means innovative partnerships. EDS has also introduced the B.C. Government to Fifth Light an Oakville, Ontario company that, through advances in dimmable electronic ballasts, networked on and off controllers, variable load controllers and sophisticated management systems is revolutionizing the “always-on” paradigm in lighting commercial buildings. Fifth Light technology is also installed in EDS Canada’s Toronto location and is being tested at the company’s Dallas headquarters.
“More and more companies want to buy from vendors that are in sync with their values,” says Frank. “Increasingly, environmental consciousness is a value that society holds high. By getting ahead of the curve, we’re building a strong green brand. This makes sense economically, because the better our brand the more companies want to work with EDS.”
by DALTON BURGER, President & CEO Electronics Products Stewardship Canada
In 2003, ITAC and Electro-Federation Canada, along with 16 leading Canadian manufacturers of information technology and consumer electronics products, created Electronics Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC). The goal was to establish a not-for-profit organization that would work with an array of partners and stakeholders to design, promote and implement sustainable solutions for Canada’s electronic waste challenge.
Five years later, EPSC is now 24 members strong, and three provinces have adopted and implemented industry-led electronics recycling programs. Regulated programs are now operational in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, with at least one other close to approval.
The successful partnership approach that EPSC has used since its inception, demonstrates to other parts of the world that industry can work effectively with all levels of governments to create and operate programs that ensure e-waste is safely collected and recycled. As a result, EPSC programs balance environmental leadership with economic efficiencies.
Launched in February 2007, and with over 1,350 tonnes of end-of-life computers, monitors, peripherals and televisions collected and responsibly recycled in its first full year of operation, the Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program (SWEEP) has provided all other programs with valuable lessons-learned experiences.
The Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia (ESABC) began in August 2007 and is now collecting close to 900 tonnes of regulated end-of-life electronics each month. ESABC has advanced the work on regulated reuse requirements, and its unique partnership with the Salvation Army ensures collection coverage in key urban areas. ESABC has also benefited from the direct involvement of Cindy Pearson, BCTIA’s Vice-President & COO, as a board member representing local industry interests.
With Atlantic Canada Electronics Stewardship (ACES) in Nova Scotia starting February 1st 2008, we now have our first program in Eastern Canada. ACES blended existing collection sites for other programs with new partnerships to establish a comprehensive collection system and effectively address a province-wide landfill-ban on selected electronics which took effect at program launch.
Ontario and Quebec are both moving forward with program implementation. Ontario has provided EPSC with the most complex challenge yet. The final program plan was passed unanimously by Waste Diversion Ontario and now awaits Ministerial approval. It incorporates the most up-to-date data available from our experiences with the existing programs, and has allowed for a comprehensive revisiting of the environmental handling fees for regulated products. EPSC appeared before the Environment Committee of Quebec’s National Assembly, ensuring that industry’s voice was heard prior to the EPR intentions paper being tabled by Quebec’s Environment Minister.
Over the next year EPSC will continue to work with the remaining jurisdictions to ensure the advent of cost-effective programs which meet our environmental responsibilities. We will also watch closely the implementation of Phase II in Nova Scotia, when the list of regulated products expands beyond the computers, printers and televisions, to include a broad range of telecommunication and audio-visual products.
For more information on EPSC or its provincial stewardship programs visit www.epsc.ca
Coming Soon: A New and Improved
Minister of Research and Innovation, John Wilkinson Headlines ITAC’s Board of Governors’ Reception and Dinner
Toronto, April 15, 2008 – The Honourable John Wilkinson, Minster of Research and Innovation delivered an inspirational speech to senior executives of Canada’s IT community. Choosing to speak from the heart, Minister Wilkinson spoke to the industry leaders about where the Province of Ontario is headed and the Governments’ plan to get there. He touched on the Next Generation Jobs Fund and the $1.15 billion dollars invested to help position Ontario ICT as not only a leader in Canada but a global leader.
Nominations for ITAC Volunteer of the Year Award – Call
The process of identifying this person is simple. We are calling for nominations from the whole membership community. If you have encountered a volunteer whose commitment and energy has helped us achieve a key objective, either through work on an ITAC committee or in some other capacity, simply identify that person to us with a brief explanation of why you think that person's contribution is exemplary and what results he or she achieved. Please do not nominate members of ITAC's Board of Directors. A small committee of the Board will review the nominees and make a selection. The presentation will take place at the Chairs' Dinner. Please make your nominations in confidence. (We will not publish a list of nominees or nominators.) Send them to Donna White, at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 7, 2007.
Best Practice in Project Management
Call for Nominations – ITAC IT Hero Awards
Call for Expressions of Interest for Board of Directors
for ITAC's CHITTA Division
The Seventh Annual Research Money Conference
Foreign Worker Information Session
3rd Annual CHITTA Golf Tournament
CHITTA Annual BLUES NIGHT @ eHealth 2008
ITAC IT Golf Tournament
Softchoice Launches World's First
Fully Searchable Online 'Green' IT Product Listing
OCCTO Technology Town Hall
WCIT 2008 – World Congress on Information Technology May
18 - 22, 2008, Malaysia
WiMAX – Canada Sets its Sights
Mississauga Technology Awards
The 2008 National Standards System (NSS) Conference
Banff World Television Festival June 8 – 11, 2008, The
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, AB
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