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Proceeding of the 3rd International Conference on Informatics and Technology, 2009

GREEN ICT- ITS VIEW AND CHALLENGES

Apurba Kumar Roy 1 , Kalyan Das 2

1 Scientist & Head, HRD-IM Division Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Digwadih Campus Dhanbad, 828108, Jharkhand, India. e-mail : apurba_cfri@rediffmail.com 2 Technical Officer, Computer Section, Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Digwadih Campus Dhanbad, 828108, Jharkhand, India. e-mail : daskalyan4u@rediffmail.com

ABSTRACT

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an umbrella that include any communication device or system encompassing, television, mobile phones, computer and networking hardware and software, satellite systems, as well as the various services and applications associated with them. Production of eco-friendly low or non-noxious goods that are less hazardous to adapt to consumers’ interest in health also belongs to the trend of Green ICT. The basic principle of “Green” is the “circulation” of energy, materials, products and human activities. The principle of circulation that is the basis of environment and ecology should be linked to the product-oriented Green ICT for its fundamental success in the long run. There is significant opportunity to capture value by designing and implementing a sensible green element within the ICT realm. The greening of ICT has diverse benefits that can create substantial value. Meeting sustainable development objectives, Social responsibilities, reduce energy consumption, technology optimization, adopting and promoting Green IT policies, etc are the main factors of Green ICT. There are numerous environmental and societal benefits to reusing or recycling used electronics. Waste prevention first, recycling second, and disposal last. Proper end-of-life management of electronics needs divert material from disposal, provide social benefits, conserves natural resources & reduces pollution.

Keywords:

sustainable, optimization, communication, prevention, encompassing

1.0 Why Green ICT?

Climate change and energy costs have increasingly become two major concerns for Governments, businesses and citizens alike. It is no longer enough to speak of the effects that these two factors have on our lives, but it is imperative for all to take up our social responsibility to mitigate their negative consequences. It is therefore evident that any action taken to counteract the negative effects of ICT on the environment must address the whole lifecycle, from procurement and use of ICT and office equipment, through to re-use, recycling and disposal. Many green ICT benefits can be achieved by implementing quick wins that require minimal or no investment.

2.0 Impact of Green ICT

The impact of human activities on the environment and on climate change in particular – are issues of growing life on Earth. At the same time, ICTs are being rapidly deployed around the world. Although ICTs require energy resources, they also offer a number of opportunities to advance global environmental research, planning and action. It is necessary to take a full life-cycle approach to the problem to avoid the environmental benefits in one area having a negative environmental impact on other parts of the business. A high level of green maturity enables the ICT infrastructure to operate at its optimal level whilst reducing power consumption and minimizing the negative impact on our environment. Computers and related electronic equipment also contain substances such as glass, plastics and certain chemical compounds that are highly recoverable, recyclable, and reusable. The Carbon/Environmental footprint from the use of telecommunications, data centres and desktop PCs. A Greenhouse gas conversion factor can then be used to convert energy consumed in kWh to kg of equivalent carbon dioxide. For example a computer using 200 W of power for 10 hours per day uses 2 kWh of energy. Multiplying by a conversion factor of 0.537 Kg CO 2 /kWh produces a total of 1.074 Kg CO 2 per day. From a desktop computing point of view, environmental issues not only revolve around the use of PCs, Notebooks, PDAs, mobile phones and office equipment, but also around individuals’ and organisations’ behaviour regarding their use. Unnecessary printing is another contributor to the impact on the environment. An item which is not generally considered when speaking of impact on the environment is software. The way in which software is designed and built determines the operation of the PC or server on which it operates. These include design considerations that limit excessive disk access, optimizing database queries and implementing efficient data indexing. These in turn impact the power consumed by these machines and are therefore a contributing factor to the impact on the environment. Although ICT is normally looked upon as a facilitator and an enabler of business and social objectives, its use does not come without cost. This cost is not only financial, but increasingly also one of impact upon the environment. These arise from the use of PCs, servers, cooling, fixed and mobile telephony, networks, office telecommunications and printers, but ICT’s impact on the environment also extends to chemicals and waste resulting from the disposal of equipment, polluting the soil with cadmium and mercury.

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3.0 Strategy of Green ICT

Information and Communication Technology systems (ICT) should be a core element of any organization’s green strategy. A carbon footprint is "the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product". An individual, nation, or organization's carbon footprint is measured by undertaking a GHG emissions assessment. Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce it. Achieving the greening of ICT is a very viable and high-value first step in any green strategy. The Green IT Scorecard will help ICT organizations to demonstrate their commitment to reducing the environmental footprint by:

1.Increasing corporate environmental awareness, 2.Identifying positive environmental initiatives, 3.Optimizing ICT to minimize consumption and waste, 4.Helping ICT to comply with regulatory requirements, 5.Establishing processes measure and manage energy demands, 6.Focusing attention on reducing energy costs.

4.0 Green ICT Key data components

There are some key data components for the Green ICT and it divided into three main parts and sub components.

A. Sustainable Development / Corporate Social Responsibility : Impact on Business & Consumer, Other Corporate

Policies General Building Design. B. Energy Efficiency / Equipment Optimisation : Demographics – Corporate, Demographics - Data Centres,

Demographics – Infrastructure, Data Centre – Profiles, Power Management, Utilisation, Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning, Supplier Management, Life Cycle Management, Replacement Policies.

C. Green IT Policies : Environmental Efficiency, Waste Management & Disposal, Procurement Policies, Application of

IT in areas that can impact environmental sustainability.

5.0 How to go Green in ICT

The greening of ICT systems can be achieved in many different ways, including:

• Improving usage of what you already have: maximizing utilization of current IT assets and putting in place disciplined asset management policies. • Consolidating servers, data centers, storage into more efficient physical plants and hardware. • Using new technologies such as virtualization to improve use of all hardware assets. Generally, a combination of all the above is required to achieve comprehensive results. Typically, such plans require a “top down” approach and the executive leadership and sponsorship of senior executives. The first step generally involves the least amount of effort and spend and can achieve a substantial outcome in a short time period.

6.0 Sustainable Green ICT

Institutions can take the following actions to promote sustainable ICT within their organizations. Ensure that the topic is given prominence within institution-wide environmental sustainability policies and systems, and set measurable targets, eg for ICT-related energy consumption. Purchase energy efficient hardware – which is compliant with the Energy Star standard as a minimum – and assess and require suppliers’ commitments to long-term sustainability in other areas. Reduce energy consumption associated with ICT equipment through power-down when not in use; switching off equipment; improving the efficiency of data centre cooling and power supply; and other means Examine the potential for alternative computing approaches such as thin client and virtualisation, and implement where appropriate Use of IT equipment for longer wherever possible, through measures such as avoidance of software- induced replacement and cascading to other uses. Reduce print-related energy and paper consumption through consolidation of print devices; print management software; easier online access to documents; greater use of recycled paper; and other means Examine the potential for staff to work remotely or use audio and video conferencing to conduct more meetings or teaching sessions, as these can reduce travel, enable more effective use of space and staff time, and result in new opportunities.

7.0 Classification

Product-oriented Green ICT : More and more companies are launching eco-friendly ICT products in competition with one another. These products may be divided into electric-efficient products, non- or less hazardous products, and recyclable products. First, various electric-efficient digital and electronic goods such as computers and peripheral devices, TVs and refrigerators are manufactured. This basically comes from the motivation to increase business profits by satisfying consumer demands to decrease consumption of electricity and spending. Moreover, it also carries more profound intention to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas and alleviation of global warming by cutting electricity consumption.

Application-oriented Green ICT : Application-oriented Green ICT means active utilization of ICTs for environmental and ecological management or sustainable environmental management. ICT-based research facilities and equip- ments have been essential for research in the fields of environment and ecology. It is true that reliable research results can hardly be attained without ICT-based surveys, sensing and analysis technologies. Green ICT consists of two main approaches.

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Green of ICT : "Green of ICT" focuses on the actual operation of ICT equipment and information systems. It aims to reduce the burden on the environment through power savings in ICT equipment and the recycling of resources. Green by ICT : "Green by ICT" focuses on the efficiency improvements brought about by the active use of ICT. It aims to reduce logistics and human movement through the sharing of information utilizing ICT.

8.0 Green ICT Actions

The achievement of the above objectives shall be facilitated by the execution of the following actions, amongst others, across the lifecycle of ICT equipment. Planning

1. Across the public sector, Government shall carry out an assessment of the environmental impact of Government

ICT procurement and identify priority areas for improvement.

2. The Government shall explore other Green ICT certification programmes.

3. Consider alternative energy sources and cooling approaches.

4. Actively encourage and facilitate alternative workplaces, such as teleworking, location independent computing, etc.

5. Implement polices and practices that encourage environmental awareness in the use of ICT.

6. Government shall investigate appropriate technologies and enforce standards to improve energy use and cooling

in data centers such as solar cooling.

7. Government shall adopt industry best practice with respect to ongoing measurement and monitoring of energy

consumption, utilisation and losses, as well as CO 2 emissions.

Education and awareness

1. Government shall organise awareness and training sessions for public sector organisations, businesses and

citizens to encourage a change of behaviour related to the use of office equipment.

2. Government shall encourage the use of energy efficient products and practices.

3. Government shall provide information on improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

4. Government shall undertake and encourage the business community to engage in research into innovative

methods of energy saving and power generation based on renewable sources of energy.

5. The Government shall set up a National Green ICT Portal where all educational, technical and other material

related to Green ICT initiatives is made available to the public on-line

Procurement

1. Include environmental impact part of ICT procurement decisions.

2. Keep the number of PCs, laptops and other electronic devices to the absolute minimum necessary except where

business requirements dictate otherwise.

3. Request Energy Star qualifications for ICT equipment procurement.

Use / Operation

1.

requirement.

a

Review current

Government

hardware

procurement standards

to include

Energy Star qualification

as

2. Increase the use of power management features on PCs and notebooks to reduce computer power consumption.

3. Identify any unnecessary redundancy and scalability.

4. Challenge existing service levels and 24x7 operations of certain services.

5. Further pursue consolidation and virtualisation. Moving to a virtualised infrastructure that reduces the number of

physical servers has a direct impact on power and cooling requirements and associated carbon emissions.

6. Implement environmental monitoring and management systems.

Re-use, Recycling and Disposal

1. Actively seek to re-use equipment that is no longer required but is still serviceable. If re-use is not possible recycle

or ensure green disposal.

2. Prepare a disposal plan for ICT products and services that are no longer required.

3. Identify hazardous material in ICT products and services and dispose of them

4. Re-use or recycle packaging.

9.0 Reducing Wastege

A waste minimisation plan for your facility. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Get Management’s Commitment , 2: Select a Waste Minimisation Working Team , 3: Conduct a Waste Audit , 4: Determine the True Costs of Waste , 5: Develop Waste Reduction Options , 6: Assess the Scope of Savings & Rank Options , 7: Develop a Waste Minimisation Plan , 8: Implement and Improve the Plan. Packaging is also a part of wastage. Allow reusable, recyclable and biodegradable material for packaging. It is necessary to minimize the packaging material with improved design of all ICT products. Some of ICT related equipments are : Laptops: parts and accessories; Computers: towers, desktops, portables; Network equipment: hubs, routers, switches, cables, modem; Computer parts: hard drives, CDROM/, DVD drives, cables, discs, manufacturer manuals; Software: retail software (with licenses preferred, not required); Flat panel screens; Monitors; Printers and scanners; Mobile Phone; Television; Satellite systems.

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The waste hierarchy refers to the 3 R’s of reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their desirability. The 3 R’s are meant to be a hierarchy, in order of importance. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste. ( Fig.1, ref.-wikipedia)

the minimum amount of waste. ( Fig.1, ref.-wikipedia) Fig. 1 : Waste hierarchy End-of-life electronics, prevent

Fig. 1 : Waste hierarchy

End-of-life electronics, prevent the electronic waste through 1.Are a fast-growing waste stream 2.Can contain hazardous materials. 3. Are made with valuable materials.

10.0 Statistics

A brief look for the Global ICT developments 1998-2008(Fig.2, Source : ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators database).

: ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators database). Fig. 2 : Global ICT developments, 1998-2008 11.0 What can

Fig. 2 : Global ICT developments, 1998-2008

11.0 What can you do with used Electronics?

Options are available that give old equipment a new lease on life, reduce the expense and regulatory burden of managing them as fully-regulated hazardous waste, and safeguard the environment.

Assess : Ensure and validate the correct disposition of ALL electronic equipment. Asses the Equipment You Have. What type of equipment is it? How old is it? Is any of it still working?

Reuse : Provide social benefits to others. Reuse and donation of electronic products extends their useful life and affords individuals or organizations that could not buy new equipment the opportunity to make use of secondhand equipment. Printer toner cartridge is also reusable. Explore Your Reuse Options. If your equipment is working, think for reuse. Do you qualify for a tax break for donating equipment?

Repair / Upgrade : If your equipment doesn't work, can it be repaired, refurbished, or used for parts to build or repair other systems? If your equipment can't be repaired, will the servicer send unsalvageable parts to be recycled?

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Donation: Donating usable equipment to a school or nonprofit group benefits both the receiving organization and the company making the donation. Check first with the potential recipients to make sure they can use your equipment.

Resale: Some companies sell or offer their used computers to employees. Others sell or give them to computer repair/resale businesses.

Return to manufacturer: Original equipment manufacturers such as IBM, Apple, Dell, Compaq and Gateway have programs to take back computers they produced.

Asset management: Asset management companies provide full-service surplus electronics collection, component recovery and equipment refurbishing for corporations and environmentally acceptable disposal.

Recycle : Computers and computer related equipment should be recycled for two primary reasons:

- Some materials in these products can be reused in the production of new products, and should not enter waste streams such as landfills. - Some of the equipment components contain environmentally sensitive materials and must be disposed of or reused in specific manners to protect our environment.

Recyclers: Businesses and institutions are responsible for choosing a recycler that will recycle the electronic equipment in a manner that does not release hazardous constituents into the environment. Select a Recycler. What is the recycler's disposal policy? Does the recycler have (or need) a permit to operate in your state?

Used computers from households: Used household computers are not subject to hazardous waste regulation if they are managed together with household wastes. However, businesses that accept household computers may be subject to hazardous waste management requirements if the computers are not reused or recycled.

Disposal : First try to diverts materials from disposal. Electronics reuse and recycling divert bulky equipment from landfills and incinerators. Take care about the disposal of UPS batteries.

12.0 Future direction of ICT

The goal is to promote greater product stewardship of electronics. Product stewardship means that all who make, distribute, use, and dispose of products share responsibility for reducing the environmental impact of those products. We intend to work towards this goal in three ways: 1) increase reuse and recycling of used electronics, 2) ensure that management of electronics is safe and environmentally sound, and 3) foster a life-cycle approach to product stewardship, including environmentally conscious design, biodegradable, manufacturing, and toxics reduction for new electronic products. Conserves natural resources and reduces pollution. Products reconfigured or redesigned to reduce materials and use greater recycled content use fewer virgin resources and require less energy to produce.

Increased legislation, regulation and tax breaks — power consumption, hazardous substances and e-waste.

Broader-based and more-demanding energy-rating and eco-labeling schemes, such as Energy Star for servers.

Energy management across the ICT infrastructure, creating a more dynamic sense-and-respond environment.

More-efficient and smarter cooling, UPS and power supplies in the data center and for client devices and so on.

Improved screen technology — more power-efficient and mercury-free.

Better power management at every level — processors, PCBs, systems, operating systems and applications.

Power consumption as a design criterion for software and energy profiling.

Limited materials innovation until there's a commercial driver.

12.1 Buy Green product

Households, companies, and governmental organizations can encourage electronics manufacturers to design greener electronics by purchasing computers and other electronics with environmentally preferable attributes and by requesting takeback options at the time of purchase. Look for electronics that: • Are made with fewer toxic constituents, • Use recycled content, • Are energy efficient • Are designed for easy upgrading or disassembly, • Utilize minimal packaging, • Offer leasing or takeback options.

12.2 Short term program

Identify benchmarking program for ascertaining the Green ICT areas that need the most focus.

Identify key people who understand aspects of the Green Agenda – not the usual suspects.

Understand the regulations that might impact your industry.

Socialize results of Green ICT benchmark.

Build Green ICT improvement roadmap.

Build Green ICT business case.

Start enterprise-wide communications program.

Build out continuous measurement program.

Identify quick wins and realize them.

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12.3

Long term program

Continue positive reinforcement of Green ICT behavior agenda and equipment optimization.

Drive suppliers to be compliant with your Green ICT needs.

Build certification program for key relevant suppliers.

Communicate financial and other benefits!

12.4

Chemical minimized

Manufacturers of personal computers actively design for the environment and great strides have been made in reducing the amount and toxicity of chemicals used in personal computers. A typical PC consists of following chemicals components : silica, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Other Plastics, iron, aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, Antimony trioxide, Chromium, Cadmium, Lithium and tin. All other constituents (including cadmium, chromium, antimony and beryllium) were found very less. Sodium antimony has replaced arsenic, which was originally used in CRT glass. Sodium antimony is used because it is much less hazardous than arsenic. CRT is being replaced by LCD monitor. Cadmium sulfide was originally used for phosphorescence in CRT coatings. Current manufacturers use zinc sulfide, which does not pose environmental risks. Lead acid and nickel-cadmium batteries were once briefly used in PCs and have largely been replaced with lithium ion batteries, which are non-toxic. Beryllium is no longer used in motherboards. Some companies have stopped using flame retardants in their products. Many potentially problematic compounds can be easily removed and recycled at properly equipped facilities with trained personnel.

13.0

Conclusion

To reduce the environmental impact of electronics use and disposal through reuse, donation, recycling, and buying greener electronic products that may be recyclable. The examples of the eco-friendly production include manufacturing of parts of mobile phone bodies using eco-friendly plastic made from fermented corn, the production of low-hazard chargers, headsets and peripheral devices, and the development of ink using vegetable oil. Finally, the Government and corporate sector should take a major role to implement the actions discussed earlier.

REFERENCES

BIOGRAPHY

Apurba Kumar Roy obtained his M.Tech. degree in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Currently he is the Head, HRD-IM Division, Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Digwadih Campus, Dhanbad, India. His research areas include information security, cyber laws and networking. His experience in computer related fields is about twenty years. He is a life member of Computer Society of India.

Kalyan Das is a Technical Officer at the Computer Section, Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Digwadih Campus, Dhanbad, India. He obtained his MCA degree from IGNOU, New Delhi. He is actively engaged in maintaining ICT infrastructure at the Institute. His area of interest is database development, website design and networking. He is an Institutional member of Computer Society of India.

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