Microsoft’s Top 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers: How to Reduce Energy Consumption, Waste, and Costs while Increasing Efficiency and ROI
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 15:46:41 GMT
It isn’t always easy to know where to begin in moving to greener and more efficient operations. With that in mind–along with Microsoft’s commitment to share best practices with the rest of the data center industry–this paper presents the top ten best business practices for environmentally sustainable data centers. The items in this list were submitted by senior members of Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services (GFS) Infrastructure Services team. Their backgrounds include expertise in server and chip development, data center electrical and mechanical engineering, power and cooling architecture and design, research and development, and business operations and administration. [PDF, 10 p.]
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Stakeholder Meetings: EPA Presentation
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 14:14:30 GMT
Slides from the presentations being given by the U.S. EPA at the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Stakeholder Meetings are now available online. The slides provide background information about the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Proposed Programs for implementation in Fiscal Year 2010, and the Great Lakes Multi-Year Action Plan Outline. [50 slides, PowerPoint pdf]
Consumers Trepidatious Over TV Recycling
Tue, 28 Jul 2009 13:48:49 GMT
The emerging category of “green” electronics has captured consumers’ attention in the past year. They are beginning to understand the various environmental and health impacts of the plethora of devices they interact with on a daily basis, according to research from the Natural Marketing Institute. Consumers are most anxious that their devices are difficult to recycle, but their concern differs by device, with almost 60 percent of consumers concerned that televisions are difficult to recycle, and only slightly over 40 percent of consumers stating that phones are difficult to recycle, according to the 2008 LOHAS Consumer Trends Database.
Power Management for Networked Computers: A Review of Utility Incentive Programs
Fri, 24 Jul 2009 15:23:11 GMT
This paper reviews rebate and incentive programs currently offered by utilities for activating power management features on computer networks. It explores the rationale behind program requirements, and provides a high-level assessment of their impact. Finally, it offers suggestions for utilities and regulators considering similar programs. Written by J. Michael Walker. PDF Format; Length: 12 pages.
FedCenter – Electronics Stewardship
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 21:13:43 GMT
This portion of the Federal Facilities Environmental Stewardship & Compliance Assistance Center (FedCenter) web site provides resources related to the electronics stewardship program area. This program area addresses the life-cycle management of electronics from procurement to disposal. Links, documents, and case studies are provided for the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC), the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and Energy Star. Sections include: Regulations, Guidance, and Policy; Supporting Information and Tools; Lessons Learned; Training, Presentations, and Briefings; and Conferences and Events.
Toxic Sweatshops: How UNICOR Prison Recycling Harms Workers, Communities, the Environment, and the Recycling Industry
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 21:04:22 GMT
In the past few years, the storm of complaints about UNICOR’s recycling program from prisoners, prison guards, and others has brought these hidden sweatshops into public view. Since 1994, UNICOR has built a lucrative business that employs prisoners to recycle electronic waste (e-waste). A massive array of ewaste is largely hidden from view, as are the workers who handle the waste. Over 100,000 computers become obsolete in the U.S. every day. E-waste includes computers, personal digital assistants, TVs, and other electronic devices. E-waste is a doubleedged sword: it is rich in precious materials that can be recycled, but it also contains a cocktail of hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and cadmium. This report examines the e-waste recycling programs run by Federal Prison Industries (FPI), a government-owned corporation that does business under the trade name UNICOR.
The Keys to Managing E-Waste: Product Stewardship and Recycling Initiatives
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 13:51:17 GMT
Technological advancements have made our lives faster, easier and more efficient, but with the downside of increasing the proliferation of electronic waste, or e-waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 18 percent of the 2.25 million tons of obsolete televisions, cell phones and computers in 2007 were recycled; the remainder was disposed of in landfills.
E-Waste: When Landfills Are Not an Option
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 13:47:09 GMT
Headlines abound with stories of branded technology being fished out of rivers and landfills in developing nations leaking toxic metals into the water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates roughly 400,000 tons of e-waste goes to recyclers every year, and that up to 80 percent of the materials sorted for recycling end up in operations in China, India, Southeast Asia and West Africa where it is disassembled and burned or dumped.
Municipal Solid Waste Source Reduction: A Snapshot of State Initiatives
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 21:04:34 GMT
This snapshot reveals state initiatives in five main areas related to source reduction: Source Reduction Planning, through goal setting and research; State In-House Programs, implemented within state governments; Residential Programs, within the homes of the residents; Commercial Programs, in business and industrial workplaces; and Support for Local Governments, through financial and technical assistance. State efforts strive to alter individual behavior through educational and technical assistance programs and also serve the important function of providing financial support for local source reduction activities.
National Source Reduction Characterization Report For Municipal Solid Waste in the United States
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 20:59:53 GMT
This report not only estimates the quantity of source reduction nationwide, but also looks at factors that drive waste prevention activities such as changes in design practices, operational changes, policy trends, and new technologies. Source reduction is addressed in terms of the MSW stream as a whole and in major material categories (i.e., paper and paperboard, food scraps and yard trimmings, plastics, metals, wood, glass). [EPA report number: EPA530-R-99-034][PDF, 80 p.]
Electronic Reuse and Recycling
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 17:08:54 GMT
Computers, cell phones, printers and other peripherals are part of the business and educational landscape of our society. We rely on them daily to communicate, educate and conduct business. What happens to these tools when we replace them with newer, faster models? Donating is becoming a common practice for extending the life of working electronics but eventually they will no longer be valuable as products. What do we do with these obsolete electronics as well as our broken televisions, radios, and stereos?
Estimation of Mercury Bioaccumulation Potential from Wastewater Treatment Plants in Receiving Waters: Phase 2
Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:07:50 GMT
This follow-up to the first phase of 05WEM1CO is a guidance document for wastewater treatment professionals who want to assess the bioavailability of mercury in their wastewater, compare it to other sources, and assess changes in bioavailability in their effluent when it’s mixed in a receiving waterbody. (Note that Phase I provides background for evaluating the bioavailability of mercury in wastewater effluents and receiving waters.) The report includes an Excel-based tool that performs bioavailability computations in a spreadsheet format, allowing users to assess the bioavailability of mercury in effluent and compare it to another effluent or to a nonpoint source. It also predicts near-field concentrations of bioavailable mercury species (methylmercury and reactive mercury) when the effluent is mixed with fresh, brackish, and marine receiving waters. 206 pages. Available for purchase as soft cover report, CD ROM, and online PDF.
WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould
Tue, 21 Jul 2009 15:52:22 GMT
This publication is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first guidelines on indoor air quality, addressing dampness and mold. They are the result of a rigorous two-year review of the currently available science by 36 leading experts worldwide, coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The authors conclude that occupants of damp or moldy buildings, both private and public, have up to a 75% greater risk of respiratory symptoms and asthma. The guidelines recommend the prevention or remediation of dampness- and mold-related problems to significantly reduce harm to health. The book is the first in a series of WHO guidelines on indoor air quality. They are intended for worldwide use, to protect health under various environmental, social and economic conditions. Future publications addressing selected chemicals and combustion products are being prepared. Together, the guidelines will comprise the first-ever comprehensive evidence-based recommendations to tackle indoor air pollution, one of the major causes of death and disease worldwide. (PDF Format; Length: 248 pages)