Sustainablog

This blog will cover some news items related to Sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility, Stewardship, Environmental management, etc.

10.9.07

Volkswagen To Offset Projected Emissions Of Cars


Volkswagen To Offset Projected Emissions Of Cars
Aug 30 2007

vw_jetta.jpgVolkswagen of America plans to offset the carbon emissions of projected consumer use. From September 1, 2007, until January 2, 2008, vehicles sold by Volkswagen will have carbon emissions offset for the first year of ownership.

In addition, the Volkswagen site will show the carbon footprint calculation of vehicles alongside statistics on fuel efficiency, speed, and price, when they use the "Build a VW" feature, according to VW.

The offsets, from Carbonfund.org, will support the land acquisition and reforestation of 1,100 acres of habitat in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Louisiana. The offsets will be based on the average annual emissions for each different type of model sold in the four-month period.

Volkswagen says it will encourage customers to continue to offset their emissions via a carbon calculator on a Volkswagen of America micro site hosted by Carbonfund.org.

55% Of Companies Have ‘Green Data Center Action Plans’; BT Aims For More Efficient Data Centers


BT Aims For More Efficient Data Centers
Sep 05 2007

bt_logo.jpgBT's data center chief Steve O'Donnell says the company is consolidating many of its systems onto VMware and Solaris containers to physically reduce the number of servers, according to an IT Week interview.

"Rather than have 50 servers running at two percent utilization, we will have two servers running at 50 percent utilization, for example," O'Donnell said. "We are also evaluating the overall power efficiency of the buildings housing our data centers, where 50 percent of the energy usage goes on cooling. We are looking to use fresh air cooling rather than refrigeration, and to convert AC to DC power at the rack level so we do not have to run uninterruptible power supplies and other bits and pieces."

O'Donnell also said that BT is working with the European Union and the US Environmental Protection Agency to categorize IT equipment in terms of energy efficiency, in the same way as white goods are categorized now. In January, the EPA announced an initiative to develop an Energy Star specification for enterprise computer servers.


55% Of Companies Have 'Green Data Center Action Plans'
Aug 30 2007

digitalrealtytrust.jpgAbout 55 percent of companies have established detailed strategies for making their data centers more energy efficient, according to a survey of senior and C-level executives that will be released next month by data center operator Digital Realty Trust, Information Week reports.

More than half of those surveyed are actually putting together green data center action plans, have serious management support of such programs, and are providing budgeting to green strategies.

Sixty percent of those surveyed said their green strategy will become an important factor in vendor selection over the next two years.

Digital Reality Trust joined the Green Grid in May.

Reduce your carbon emissions, eat a Big Mac, crash the government server


McDonald's Climate Pledge Promo Crashes Japanese Govt Website
Sep 06 2007

mcdonalds_japan.jpgA Japanese government website crashed Wednesday as people visited the site to take advantage of a McDonald's offer for a half-price Big Mac in exchange for pledging to fight global warming, AFP reports.

People had to download a form from the environment ministry's website and check off ways they would reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

McDonald's is one of more than 80 companies offering goods or other prizes to help the government's drive to reduce greenhouse gases - none of the other corporate offers crashed the system.

Most visits were just after 9:00am which, according to a ministry official, indicates that many people were thinking about Big Macs as they started work.

Microsoft, HP, Dell Perceived As Greenest Tech Brands (@ 19% of respondents; IBM scores 11%, behind Apple, Sony, Kodak and Gateway)


Microsoft, HP, Dell Perceived As Greenest Tech Brands
Sep 05 2007

tech_logos.jpgGreen or environmentally sensitive Tech products and practices are emerging as a new element of Tech brand positioning and consumer consideration, according to a survey by Ipsos.

When consumers were asked to rate the importance of each of six green practices in influencing their Tech purchase preferences, over half (57%) rated the presence of the Energy Star label as influential. Following closely behind in purchase influence were manufacturer commitment to discarding older Tech products in an environmentally friendly manner (48%), and meeting EPA standards for these product disposals (45%). At least one-third of the respondents rated each of the other three factors as influential as well, including green energy inputs to production, manufacturing that incorporates recycled components, and contributions to environmental causes.

In the survey's other main finding, respondents
ipsos_green_tech_brands.jpgwere presented with a list of leading tech brands and asked which (if any) they would associate with having green or environmentally friendly business practices. The first tier were all brands – Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Apple – that consumers encounter regularly, either in their personal lives, at work, or in the news. A second tier included venerable Tech brands reflecting very different fortunes in recent years – Kodak, Sony, Gateway, IBM, and Motorola, according to Ipsos.

Fifty-five percent of respondents perceived no brands as green.

"These results, along with other data we see, convince me that at least for American consumers this is emerging as a key issue – probably not a universal factor any time soon, but important enough to enough Americans to matter to Tech firms," says Todd Board, SVP of Ipsos Insight's Media, Entertainment & Technology practice. "The interesting paradox for the market leaders, or those who would be, is that this may rapidly become a table-stakes expectation for many consumers – 'of course, I expect prominent brand X to care about the environment and act accordingly.' However, while this is emerging as a cost-of-entry issue, it isn't clear that any one Tech firm can carve out sustainable differentiation around green behaviors and positioning. Our data suggest a bit more skepticism about Tech brand commitments to green issues among younger Americans than among those age 55-plus."

Just yesterday, Reuters reported that manufacturers at IFA, Europe's biggest consumer electronics show, tried to entice consumers with environmentally-friendly product details but consumers were more interested in bigger and brighter screens.

The list makes an interesting companion to Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, which ranked companies in the following order: Nokia, Dell, Lenovo, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, Toshiba, Fujitsu-Siemens, Acer, Apple, HP, Panasonic, LGE, Sony.