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Green TCO Includes Everything From Cradle To Grave

What's the total cost of ownership of IT? It depends on who's footing the bill. When it comes to the environment, of course, we all do. And that's why it's important to consider IT sustainability in its entirety, from cradle to grave.
What's the total cost of ownership of IT? It depends on who's footing the bill. When it comes to the environment, of course, we all do. And that's why it's important to consider IT sustainability in its entirety, from cradle to grave.In practical terms, it means not only reducing power usage but choosing clean energy whenever and wherever possible. And when it's not readily available, pushing utilities and legislators for alternatives.

It means building greener data centers and offices that use recycled water for cooling and for industrial use. It means sourcing goods locally.

It also means purchasing goods and services that have been produced as cleanly as possible with the complete life cycle in mind. How much are you really helping if your energy efficient desktop has a planned obsolescence of three to five years and is destined to be tossed on the scrap heaps of India? According to United Nations University, it takes 1.8 tons of raw materials and approximately 240 kilograms of fossil fuel to manufacture a PC -- which is about 81% of the energy the computer will use. The Basel Action Network (BAN) estimates that up to 80% of the e-waste collected for recycling is exported overseas, harming workers and the environment.

Redemtech, a subsidiary of Micro Electronics that has built a business on "asset recovery," yesterday launched its Sustainable Computing Initiative, a consultancy aimed at helping enterprises better understand their IT life cycle and reduce its environmental impact.

Redemtech certainly is in a position to understand the problem from many angles: It has been helping businesses from Bangalore to Burbank responsibly dispose of computer components and other e-waste for the past 10 years, while Micro Electronics has been sourcing new components in Taiwan to sell in computers through its Micro Center store.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer