News
9/30/2010
04:05 PM
Alison Diana
Alison Diana
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail

15 Green Tech Innovations

Cost-savings and energy efficiencies go hand-in-hand. The poor economy and a collective awareness of the finite resources available to the world are encouraging businesses to invest in green technologies. In fact, 60% of companies now have green criteria for their technology purchases, a Forrester Research study found. Cutting costs is the primary motivator, while real or anticipated regulatory issues and pressure from buyers also ranked high, the report said. Only 30% were driven by their desir




As people turn to e-readers and tablet PCs such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad for their morning newspaper, business magazine or favorite author's latest book, consumption of paper is expected to slow. In 2009, 1.05 million new book titles and editions were published, according to Bowker. In 2010, people could buy up to 100 million copies of e-books and 5 million standalone e-readers, predicted Deloitte. This year, sales of tablet or slate computers could reach 7.6 million units, reaching 46 million units sold by 2014, according to IDC.

Although 40% of the companies polled by Forrester cited the lack of clear-cut ROI as a factor in their lack of a plan for green IT, a growing number of organizations cite pro-environmental policies and investments for saving money. The United States Post Office, for example, saved 10 million sheets of paper by moving job bidding and hiring to online systems; it further reduced its paper costs and usage by switching to automatically printing on both sides of a sheet of paper, reducing usage by almost 1.8 million sheets per month -- or about 2,000 trees a year, the organization said. By consolidating two data centers into one, and reducing 120 platforms to 30, USPS saved an additional $1.7 million, according to USPS.

Spurred on by high oil prices and consumer interest in electric cars, automakers have renewed their efforts to design, manufacture and sell gas-free cars. Manufacturers across many industries now shun expensive and resource-intensive packaging, as consumers reject the once-popular Styrofoam peanuts and inch-thick plastic boxes.

In the United States, the debate over carbon-offsets continues, but the federal government has spent billions of dollars to encourage citizens to purchase environmentally friendly products through programs such as Cash for Clunkers and its weatherization rebate.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green

E-Book Readers


Tesla Motors, already a big name in the burgeoning market for electric cars, plans to debut its Model S in 2012. In the second quarter, Tesla released the CAD data to external suppliers, said Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motor. In addition, Tesla entered into a strategic relationship with Toyota, enabling the two companies to cooperate in the development of electric vehicles. Already, Tesla is delivering prototypes of an electric power train for Toyota's RAV4, he said. And Toyota invested $50 million in Tesla, which filed its initial public offering in July 2010.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


Once a perk of a small percentage of jobs, a growing number of companies have adopted telecommuting as a cost-effective, productivity-boosting business resource. Home-workers access the Internet and corporate intranets via affordable, high-bandwidth connections, communicate using low-cost calling plans or services such as Skype and Vonage, and collaborate with products such as Citrix GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting. In turn, telecommuting has reduced commuter traffic.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


As vendors such as Microsoft and VMware compete for virtualization mindshare and dollars, businesses around the world continue to reduce their energy consumption and power bills by investing in this powerful technology. Some business customers saved an average of $470,000 annually by using its virtualization software, said Microsoft. For its part approximately half of all organizations studied reduced both floor space and rent costs, as well as power consumption, enabling them to reap an average savings of 16%, or about $700,000 a year for a 5 megawatt datacenter, according to VMware. The University of Miami, for example, slashed its energy costs by 80% after moving to a Microsoft-based virtualized data center, Microsoft said.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


The Green Grid is an international consortium of technology companies, whose main goal is to improve data centers' energy efficiency. The Green Grid, whose membership roster reads like an IT Who's Who, promotes the adoption of energy-efficient standards, processes, measurement methods and technologies; defining meaningful use, user-centric models and metrics, and developing standards, measurement methods, processes and new technologies to improve performance against the defined metrics.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green

IBM Empowers Smarter Cities


An entire industry has grown around developing and designing coverings for homes and offices that expressly work to reduce heat-intake and, therefore, energy costs. In 2009, the United States Postal Service debuted its first green roof in Manhattan, and expects to be two-thirds of the way to its goal of cutting energy use by 30% by 2015. The Morgan mail processing facility's green roof covers almost 2.5 acres and during construction, approximately 90 percent of the original roof was recycled and reused on the new roof. It will last 50 years, twice as long as the roof it replaced, and is part of the Postal Service’s greener facilities strategy, according to USPS.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


GroveMade creates iPhone cases made of bamboo, a fast-growing natural resource, and uses sustainable materials, natural finishes and responsible packaging. The company, which is made up of programmers, designers and artisans, coats the cases with a natural oil/wax finish. Much of the shaping is done by hand, and cases can be custom-engraved by makers led by Joe Mansfield of engrave and Ken Tomita of TomitaDesigns, said GroveMade.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


Intel's Atom processor enables vendors -- such as Acer, Cisco, LaCie, LG Electronics and NetGear -- to design and sell low-power appliances that use less power and generate less heat than their predecessors. In July, the Bloodhound Project selected Intel's Atom to control the engine and in-auto systems of its 1,000 mile-per-hour Bloodhound supersonic car. The processors, which are similar to those used by netbook vendors, were specifically designed for use in industrial and automotive applications, and Bloodhound selected them for their power-saving and performance prowess, Intel said.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


Cofounded in 2007 by Intel and Google, Climate SaversComputing Initiative is a nonprofit group of eco-conscious consumers, businesses and conservation organizations that want to promote development, deployment and adoption of smart technologies that can both improve the efficiency of a computer’s power delivery and reduce the energy consumed when the computer is in an inactive state, according to the organization. By year-end, the initiative hopes to reduce global CO2 emissions from computers by 54 million tons annually -- equivalent to the yearly output of 11 million cars.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


No matter where they live, patients increasingly have access to medical specialists, thanks to secure, high-speed networks that enable telemedicine. As a result, people can dramatically reduce the hours spent driving or flying to specialists, curbing emissions and fuel usage, as well as improving quality of life, the medical outcome and cutting costs. InTouch Health's Stroke Physician & ED patient via RP-7 unites stroke specialists with patients potentially suffering from this condition, a telemedicine solution that helps save lives without costly, time-consuming and gas-guzzling travel.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green

Wireless Telehealth Brings Medical Help To Those In Need


From cathode-ray tubes and lead solder, to hexavelent chromium and plastics, computer equipment includes a number of toxins that could be released if that old printer, monitor or PC ends up in a regular landfill. In order to protect the environment, many states have outright bans on merely tossing out retired computing products. Recognizing the growing need for recycling and safe waste-management services, businesses from IBM to local firms are addressing this market. Other organizations accept donations of retired computers, using the devices for students, nursing homes and educational programs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides guidelines for electronics' recyclers.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


LED bulbs are gradually taking over homes and offices. These bulbs, which continue to drop in price as the market expands, deliver dramatically reduce power-consumption. In fact, LED bulbs only lose 20% of their electrical energy to heat, compared with an 80% loss by incandescent bulbs, according to bulb manufacturer. For its part, Bridgelux directly targets lamp and luminaire manufacturers with its solid state lighting (SSL), which are intended to expand the market for LED technologies by driving down the costs of LED lighting systems.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


Styrofoam peanuts have all-but disappeared from many manufacturers' shipping shelves. Boxes are smaller -- and less expensive to make and ship -- and software developers primarily sell their wares via unpackaged downloads instead of through costly cartons delivered to stores in gas-powered, rubber-wheel-spinning trucks. Most, if not all, manufacturers are scrutinizing their packaging costs, with many looking to use renewable resources to safeguard items. Evocative Design, for example, created EcoCradle, a biodegradable and home-compostable packaging material from seed husks and mushroom roots.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


The twinkling lights and 24x7 shrill of gambling machines scarcely seem conducive to energy-savings, yet the City of Las Vegas is taking many steps to reduce consumption. Las Vegas saved about $50,000 a year merely by shutting down its computers at night, and rack systems, which replaced the city's mainframes, reduced power-consumption by 15%, a published report said. This year, Las Vegas plans to install 1 MW of solar panels on 17 municipal parking garages, invest $3.5 million in LED lighting and spend $4 million to retrofit 17 buildings. In addition, the city will license Hara’s Environmental and Energy Management software to track its $15 million of annual electricity and natural gas use; energy monitoring and management is expected to save the city about $150,000 a year, according to Hara.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green


Manufacturers are getting creative about reusing materials. Motorola, for example, sells the MOTO W233 Renew, a mobile phone made using plastics comprised of recycled water bottles. It is the first certified Carbonfree cell phone on the market as Motorola offsets the amount of energy required to manufacture, distribute and operate the phone through its alliance with Carbonfund.org. The W233 Renew does not include asbestos or asbestos compounds; Class I and Class II ozone-depleting chemicals such as Chlorofluorocarbons and halons; halogenated dioxins and furans; PCBs and PCTs, or deca BDE, according to Motorola. Customers can print a postage-paid label at www.motorola.com/recycle to return older products to Motorola, and the company donates a portion of the proceeds generated by recycled phones to schools participating in its Race to Recycle program.

SEE ALSO:

7 Ways For Your Businesses To Go Green

How To Take Your Business Green

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Email This  | 
Print  | 
RSS
More Insights
Copyright © 2020 UBM Electronics, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service