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Five Five Keys to Selecting Effective Green Technologies From Verismic

August 11, 2009

U.K.-based Sparxent via its Verismic Software subsidiary that has some good advice on identifying promising green technologies in IT and at the same time avoiding greenwashing. Verismic Software develops solutions including power management  to extend systems management and service desk capabilities.

Verismic recommends looking for green solutions which meet the following criteria:
1.     Measurable eco-benefits.  A number of technologies promise a reduction in CO2 emissions or other green benefits, but customers often have no way to actually measure the result.

Green Transportation: Upcoming Pacific Northwest Intercity/Regional Rail Conference

May 18, 2009

Intercity and commuter/regional rail offers, when done right, a greener alternative to driving and flying not only in reduced energy consumption but also in enabling compact high-density and walkable development on existing brownfield lands as opposed to car-oriented low-density greenspace-munching sprawl.

The Pacific Northwest is an epicenter of rail transportation and land use initiatives, with hits and misses given the beauty and quality of life and the unchanneled growth that threatens to destroy it. Hits that all three of the major cities: Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, Wash., and Portland, Ore. have or will have commuter and urban rail transit systems, are linked by an albeit sluggishly-growing-and-improving intercity rail network, and especially in Portland's case (with some of those most advanced policies anywhere), are encouraging transit-oriented development. Misses in that the British Columbia and to a lesser extent Washington state government continues 1950s-styled sprawl-encouraging roadbuilding and widening policies (in B.C.

TelcoBridges' TCOGreen Campaign Reduces Carbon Footprint

May 6, 2009

 President Obama states in his speech in Lansing, MI that the creation of 5 million green collar jobs will play an integral part in his New Energy for America. The IP communications industry is paying attention to the Greening of America. For example, the latest is TelcoBridges' TCOGreen Campaign.

The offer helps telecom service providers and operators learn how to significantly reduce the TCO and Carbon footprint of their network, while enhancing capacity and capabilities. The TCOGreen program consists of:
A detailed TCOGreen White Paper entitled: The Green Total Cost of Ownership
* A Webinar Series - scheduled for June 3-4, at convenient times for both the North American and Asian markets
* An extensive face-to-face campaign with partners and prospects at CommunicAsia 2009, June 16th -19th in Singapore (booth # 5D4-01)
* And two free, online tools to help organizations understand how energy and co-location costs impact their TCO.

Kudos to the ITU, Now The Next Green Challenge: Wired Versus Wireless

April 17, 2009

Kudos to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for its work in developing methodologies to examine the environmental impacts and the benefits of IT communications (ICT).
The ITU is developing tools to calculate energy usage and carbon impact arising from ICT lifecycles and to examine the decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that can be achieved with ICTs. Examples of the latter include substituting ICT services and devices for intensive fossil-fueled activities for travel and transport and by replacing atoms with bits (buying an MP3 file instead of a CD), also known as 'dematerialization'. 

The organization also noted a trend towards 'always-on' devices that are a drain on power supplies. On the other hand a contribution to its focus group meeting showed that direct e-mail has the effect of a 98.5 per cent carbon dioxide emission reduction compared with paper. 

"A common methodology will help establish the business case to go green and can ultimately be beneficial to informed consumer choices and climate-friendly business procurement," say Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

Now what's needed is for the ITU or another similar august body to tackle a real interesting and probably the next green issue: wired versus wireless, both in the actual energy to push X amount of data (including voice) from A to B, and in construction and lifecycle construction and maintenance impacts.

Answers to this matter can help decisionmakers, and green-and-energy-conscious businesses and individuals to make the right choices.

As Tesla discovered, air is a lousy conductor of electricity, not to mention the safety concerns.

Wanted: A 'GreenDex

April 14, 2009

There have been plenty to the point of overload of competing green claims--that some times amount to greenwash--regarding the apparent and supposed environmental benefits of buildings, products, features, technologies, services, and practices: from LEED buildings to telework.

At the same time there have been points raised about the costs both direct and indirect i.e. lost productivity of going green: at what price to organizations especially in this tough economy with limited resources.

To help organizations, decisionmakers, and yes journalists and the public, could some reputable association develop with consensus from all parties: industry, academia, government, environmental groups devise an objective 'GreenDex' to evaluate products, services, applications and practices to help us reduce our environmental footprints?

Telus Makes the Future Friendlier (and Greener)

March 9, 2009

Telus, which is one of Canada's largest communications companies, has taken an unusual--and correct--path in green marketing. It has gone green first through instituting a telework program for its internal contact center agents, which it calls at-home agents or AHAs and then decided to form and promote its AHA consulting/hosting program to other companies.

Telus has 750 AHAs who presently live within 150 km/95 miles from the firm's eight contact centers: in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec and come in for training. That number will expand to 1,050 by the end of 2009.  They will represent nearly 21 percent of its contact center workforce from 16 percent currently.

Telework As Green Energy Demand Management Solution?

February 26, 2009

Electrical power has become of those necessities that are nasty and expensive to provide. We are now dependent on it, are uncomfortable and cannot perform tasks when it isn't there.

Yet we do not like the sight of power lines, substations, and generating facilities (including green ones like solar farms and wind turbines)--certainly not in our back yards, and we are worried about the emissions from fossil fuel plants, environmental damage from hydroelectric dams, and radiation from nuclear stations. The building, upgrading, and maintaining of these facilities are reasons behind the seemingly climbing electric bills.

Walking the Walk on Green Tech Growth

February 19, 2009

A wirestory about the potential of green technology growth to revive California's sagging famed Silicon Valley--as desirable as green innovations and resulting employment and increased prosperity may be--contains a literal and equally toxic whiff of the proverbial 'jogger going to a convenience store to buy a pack of cigarettes.'

The story cites a report by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network that shows that employment in the region slipped 1.3 per cent in November and per capita income eroded, decreasing nearly one per cent. 

Overall venture capital investments in Silicon Valley dropped 7.7 per cent in 2008, breaking an upward trend started in 2005.

Yet at the same time green tech investments has climbed 94 per cent since 2005 and employment in the sector has risen 23 per cent during the same years. Some of this has been heading to the Valley already. 

The issue is that the Silicon Valley is not producing the skilled workers needed to fill green technology jobs as the industry grows.

"'We need a strong system of workforce development to support adult worker retraining and transition,'" said Silicon Valley Community Foundation president Emmett Carson.

Now here's where the smoke comes in. More employment locally at jobsites means more traffic, and more pollutants that offset the green benefits from what is being created. 

While Silicon Valley has long had a light rail, bus, and commuter rail system that has been slowly growing, work travel there, like in most metro areas, mostly means cars and roads, the building, operation, accommodation, and maintenance of which damages the environment.

So here's a solution: why not encourage green tech firms--along with every other employer--to institute aggressive telework programs?

Going Green All the Way In Ontario

February 12, 2009

It is great to see that jurisdictions like the Canadian province of Ontario taking steps to encourage green practices and technology.

As reported on TMCnet, the province's government will be introducing a sure-to-pass (Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberal party holds a majority in the legislature) Green Energy Act, which will:

* Encourage conservation side by creating an Expert Advisory Council that will offer advice to the government on any future energy efficiency changes to Ontario's building code

*  Modernize the province's electrical transmission system by employing 'smart grid' technology--two way communications, advanced sensors, and distributed computing--that enable power distributors to anticipate and address problems before they lead to outages

Green Guilt-Free Flying

February 9, 2009

It will be possible, depending on how quickly and urgently the aviation industry acts to develop and roll out the technology, to fly and work on your laptop without worrying about the emissions-related harm being incurred and the life-enabling open space ruined by massive runways. 

The key environmental issue with flying is not so much the CO2 from the engines but from the water vapor emitted at higher altitudes, where jet aircraft operate, which turns into clouds.  Canadian journalist and historian Gwynne Dyer reports that these clouds reflect heat back to the surface "and contribute to global warming".

There is a solution, which he discussed in a recent column carried in a rural Ontario paper ,distributed free in communities located below what are arguably Canada's busiest commercial and military airways, and that is known as 'circulation control'

This is a technology whose function is, he quoted Dennis Bushnell, the chief scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center, "'to bleed the engines and inject air backwards at the upper trailing edge of the wing, you can produce lift coefficients which are easily three or four times what we can get out of conventional wings.'"

With circulation control, aircraft can fly more comfortably and with less harm at lower altitudes, reports Dyer. Water vapor turns to rain and bumps i.e. turbulence is minimized.  

"That [also] means very short takeoffs and landings, so short that existing runways could accommodate several aircraft at once. And the same circulation control system, used in flight, has "such tremendous control authority" that it can counter the bumps that are normally part of flying down in the weather and produce a smooth ride."

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