Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Green ICT Update

Here's a few short items of interest from the last week:

- PRC Technologies, a division of Print Recovery Concepts, Inc., is offering laser printer cartridges using toner powder derived from soybeans. The SoyPrint™ brand will apparently be at comparable prices to current brand named, oil-based toner cartridges. It seems that soy ink has been available for some time, but this is the first time a soy-based option has been available in laser cartridges. The cartridges are made in the US and it looks like they're only available in the US at the moment.

- O2 has become the first UK mobile operator to be officially certified with the Carbon Trust Standard. The award recognises O2’s commitment to a 15% reduction in energy consumption achieved over the past three years. The press release cites a number of initiatives the company has adopted including a £1.4m investment in smart metering technology to monitor energy consumption at cell sites and other premises, more energy efficiency technology in the O2 network, removal of air conditioning on certain cell sites, reducing PC monitor standby time and waterless urinals in offices and contact centres (?). Overall, the company has saved 47,000 tonnes of CO2 through a variety of measures.

- Here's a good idea. According to treehugger, some time ago small towns in Germany started turning off street lights to save money, but residents, understandably, don't like it. A solution emerged in a place called Morgenr├Âthe-Rautenkranz, where the 900 citizens have been given the option of turning on the lights by mobile telephone. The town now saves 4000 euros a year. There seem to be a several such schemes in Germany now; in some cases residents call the lights directly, which then come on for 15 minutes (but you have to know the number to call) and elsewhere the caller is charged for the cost of the light. However it works, it's a good idea for saving energy and money.

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