Happy Earth Day!
Things have been kinda slow around here, mostly due to my commitments over at sites like eWEEK and Datamation and an ongoing (if glacially paced) upgrade to this blog. But it’s Earth Day, and it would be criminal for this Green IT blogger to not chime in.
This year, as we face the decimation of bee colonies and other dire warning signs, there are some great stories to share about the IT industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact. The first comes from Facebook, a company that went from pariah to Green IT poster child in a few short years.
The company has launched a couple of interactive dashboards that deliver near-real-time power and water usage statistics for its data centers in Prineville, Wash. and Forest City, N.C. Pretty compelling stuff, considering that most companies are still struggling with the basics of energy monitoring and management, let alone dishing that data up to the public.
Redmond is also making waves by offering up 10 Earth-Friendly Facts about Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and detailing some of the steps its taking in becoming a sustainable mega-enterprise.
Update: Check out my story at eWEEK.
Apple has been a little quiet, but its website points visitors to some great resources, where they can dive deep into the company’s sustainability programs. For instance, the site offers this encouraging update:
We’ve already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple’s corporate facilities worldwide, we’re at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases.
Hitting closer to home, GigaOM’s Ucilia Wang tells us “What you need to know about shopping for solar panels.” At work, Office depot revealed…
— Office Depot News (@OfficeDepotNews) April 22, 2013
Be sure to check out the infographic in the first link.
The IEEE wants thinks that the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) could use another buddy: Repair. iFixit CEO and IEEE member Kyle Wiens threw down the gauntlet to gadget makers.
“Regardless of size, there are numerous design features that manufacturers can use to improve the repairability of their products. Simple things like utilizing openable cases, using screws rather than adhesives, and providing easy access to parts that are most likely to break, like screens, greatly improve the repairability of cellphones and significantly extend their life. It is imperative for designers to incorporate sustainable features into their products not only to make them last longer but to help promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future,” he said in a statement issued by IEEE.
And if you’re a U.S Bank customer in California, your local branch may get a whole lot greener — and keep your car cooler — in the coming weeks. The bank, in partnership with SolarCity, is installing solar car parks.
Here are the details:
SolarCity, a leading provider of clean energy, will sell renewable energy to U.S. Bank through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The new solar carports and rooftop systems, which collectively approach one Mega-Watt (MW) in generation capacity, will generate solar electricity for the branches while providing shaded parking for customers.
In addition to generating energy savings, the solar systems are expected to reduce U.S. Bank’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 35 million pounds, which is equivalent to taking 3,068 cars off the road or planting more than 19,000 trees, based on computations using data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Got a highlight of your own? Sound off in the comments!