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Green Computing: The Environmental Impact of Desktop Computing Catherine Steeves Associate Chief Librarian, ITS Gillian Maurice Sustainability Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "Green Computing: The Environmental Impact of Desktop Computing Catherine Steeves Associate Chief Librarian, ITS Gillian Maurice Sustainability Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Green Computing: The Environmental Impact of Desktop Computing Catherine Steeves Associate Chief Librarian, ITS Gillian Maurice Sustainability Coordinator University of Guelph Presentation to OLA – February 1, 2007

2 What is Green Computing? The positive (or least negative) relationship between the physical computer and its impact to the environments in which it moves through from cradle to grave

3 Green Computing – Why? Growing public environmental awareness Increasing impacts on environmental and human health Corporate social responsibility

4 Cradle to Grave Approach Full life-cycle analysis, not just the product on our desks Looks at: Manufacturing Use during lifetime Disposal and reallocation

5 Manufacturing – Fossil Fuels Average desktop computer with monitor requires 10 times its weight in chemicals and fossil fuels to produce 240 kg of fossil fuel for CRT monitor (United Nations University) 266 kg of fossil fuel for LCD monitor (Williams, 2003)

6 Manufacturing – Monitors CRT – lead and zinc leachate mean monitors are hazardous waste (Lee et al., 2004) Lead: bioavailable in soil - can attack proteins and DNA, as well as interfere with nervous system function (Bechara, 2004; Needleman, 2004) LCD – 4-12 mg mercury /unit (Williams, 2003) Liquid crystals – polycyclic or halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, 588 different compounds 4% have potential for acute toxicity, but show no mutagenic effects in bacteria tests (Williams, 2003)

7 Manufacturing – Other Toxins PBDE – similar structures to PCB and DDT Bioavailable, environmentally persistent, biomagnifies in blood, fatty and liver tissue (Domingo, 2004) Extraction impacts – refining of petroleum for energy and plastic, mining and smelting of metals Solvents in microchip fabrication – hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, arsenic, benzene and hexavalent chromium (Williams, 2003)

8 Use – Environmental Impacts Electricity consumption for desktops and peripherals 120W CRT+CPU; more for older machines Ontario Ministry of Energy, 2005

9 Use – Environmental Impacts Fossil fuel power – Greenhouse gas emissions, mercury atmospheric pollution, SOX and NOX lead to acid rain and smog formation Nuclear power – difficulties with long term management of radioactive wastes

10 Disposal – Electronic Waste Short product life expectancy (2-4 years) Same toxins in manufacturing process can cause environmental contamination Human health risks Lead, barium, chromium, CNS disruptors etc. (Baul, 2002) Human rights problems – Exporting harm

11 E-waste Impacts in China Photos Courtesy of Basel Action Network

12 Manufacturing – Good News Greener technology PBDE-free plastic lead-free soldering fewer toxic solvents Plastics labelled with recycling codes Less material used Independent certification bodies e.g. TCO, Nordic Swan, EU Eco- label

13 Use – Good News New technology often more energy efficient Laptop 15W total LCD system: 80W total CRT system: down to 120W from 270W Independent certification bodies e.g., TCO, Nordic Swan, EU Eco-label Energy saver features are now standard

14 Waste – Good News Recycling Metal recovery Semi-precious metal recovery Stewardship pledge (Basel Action Network)

15 University of Guelph Campus 110,000,000 kWh of electricity 4,700 homes 9.2 million dollars 32,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, or over 7,000 cars (in one year)

16 Breaking Down Electricity 50% mechanical 35% lighting 15% plug-load Where can we find efficiencies? 15% = $1.38 million, 4,900 GHG, 1200 cars

17 Finding Efficiencies Sustainability Office commissioned study to look at environmental impacts of computers on campus Report released: Environmental Impact of Computer Information Technology in an Institutional Setting: A Case Study at the University of GuelphEnvironmental Impact of Computer Information Technology in an Institutional Setting: A Case Study at the University of Guelph President asked the CIO to strike a task force

18 Green Computing Task Force Terms of Reference Identify green computing best practices Examine computing procurement guidelines Identify energy conservation strategies and practices Identify equipment disposal procedures Recommend a campus awareness program

19 Task Force Members: Aiden Abram, Student Representative to ISC Gillian Maurice, Sustainability Coordinator, Physical Resources Blair Nonnecke, Associate Professor, Computing and Information Science Catherine Steeves, Chair, Associate Chief Librarian for Information Technology Services Dale Stevanus, Manager, Purchasing Services Jeff Walker, Systems Support Manager, Library

20 University of Guelph Policy on Environmental Protection Acknowledges a responsibility for and a commitment to protection of the environment on a continuous improvement basis Promotes and supports environmental management policies and environmentally responsible practices at every level and every department Is committed to minimizing environmental impacts arising from the universitys activities University of Guelph - Environmental Health and Safetys Policy on Health and Safety Policy on Health and Safety

21 Best Practices – Policy Northland College Sustainability Mission Statement Northland College Sustainability Mission Statement Sustainable Development Policy for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges Sustainable Development Policy for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges International Institute for Sustainable Development Sustainable Campus Policy Bank Sustainable Campus Policy Bank

22 Recommendation – Campus Policy Although beyond the scope of this task group, it is recommended that the University revisit its policies and consider the creation of an institutional environmental mandate to build a strong foundation for green policies, initiatives and program

23 Current Context – Computer Procurement Typical computer procurement selection criteria : functionality and specifications required by the user commercial aspects that offer best value (best combination of functionality, price, service and other desired criteria) compatibility with existing equipment and use

24 Best Practices – Computer Procurement Trent Universitys Environmental Procurement Policy Environmental Procurement Policy McMaster Universitys Responsible Purchasing Statement/Commitment to Safety and the Environment Responsible Purchasing Statement/Commitment to Safety and the Environment

25 Recommendations – Computer Procurement Purchasing Services develop a green purchasing policy for computers Companies which manufacture and operate in environmentally sensitive ways Manufacture to electrical efficiency standards R&D to improve products environmental impact

26 Best Practice - Disposal Current UG e-waste disposal program represents a best practicee-waste disposal program E-waste is divided into two separate streams, CRT monitors and all other electronic equipment General e-waste is sent to Production Works where it is dismantled and redistributed to scrap companies and recyclers CRT monitors sent to an environment friendly Toronto-based company

27 Recommendations – Disposal Maintain current program, plus: Obtain suitable space for storage of e-waste and monitors Develop and implement methodology for tracking tonnage diverted from landfill Formalize reuse and reallocation procedures and policies

28 Current Context – Guelph Environmental Awareness Sustainability at U of G Website Sustainability at U of G Person to person workgroup presentations Student to student presentations Enviro Rep in-residence program Tips and tools promotional materials Campus media outlets

29 Recommendations – Awareness Campus Awareness Program Survey to gauge awareness of energy reduction and waste reduction practices and identify barriers to participation Campaign development offering incentives and long-term behaviour modification strategies Measure success and publicize success

30 Best Practices – Energy Conservation Implementing power management options on machines Reducing the overall on time of the system as a whole Reducing the overall on time of the monitor in particular

31 Energy Conservation Strategies Survey current computer power management policies and practices across campus Coordinate participation of IT personnel in an energy reduction plan Develop configuration standards, with IT personnel, to reduce energy consumption of computers

32 Conclusion: From Cradle to Grave Top 3 priorities for Guelph: Energy conservation strategy Campus awareness Procurement guidelines What can your library do?

33 For More Information… Environmental Impact of Computer Information Technology in an Institutional Setting: A Case Study at the University of Guelph Environmental Impact of Computer Information Technology in an Institutional Setting: A Case Study at the University of Guelph Report of the Green Computing Task Group Campus Computing and the Environment Campus Computing and the Environment Sustainability at U of G Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility Resources on Computers and the Environment Resources on Computers and the Environment Environmentally Preferable Purchasing-Electronics US Environmental Protection Agency Environmentally Preferable Purchasing-Electronics Electronics Product Stewardship Canada

34 Contact us: Gillian Maurice Sustainability Coordinator Catherine Steeves Associate Chief Librarian, ITS


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