GreenICT - sustainable ICT networks
Below a few themes are descibed. The list is non-exhaustive.
Waste as feedstock
The possibilities to create ICT components out of (harmful) organic and non-organic waste are becoming both technically and commercially more and more interesting. Compared with the limited stock of increasingly scarce, and therefore more and more expensive, mineral resources, waste as feedstock will remain sufficiently. The required feedstock, for e.g. polymer optical fibres might consist of (harmful) organic waste such as cow manure.1 A current general rule is that for technically and commercially responsible production further scientific research is needed.
The global issue of energy can be answered in two complementary ways:
- The use of sustainable and innovative energy sources.
- The reduction of energy consumption. ICT technology is an impressive user of energy. By preventing or greatly reducing unnecessary consumption considerable savings can be achieved. Energy consumption covers a large part of the operational costs of data centres. Cost savings can be an effective incentive to reduce energy consumption significantly. Sustainability and prudential motives come together seamlessly. Given the massive use of ICT networks this can lead to a significant global saving of energy.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI)
A less wellknown theme is reducing EMI. Large-scale application of reducing EMI leads to lower energy consumption. By optimization of electromagnetic fields (EMF) caused by ICT technology, mutual disturbance decreases both with reagard to man as well as machine. Especially with regard to the interaction between man and machine, the emotions in contemporary "radiation discussions" sometimes increase strongly. Combined ICT technological, environmental and medical scientific research for optimization of ICT sources of EMF ( "reduction at source") can lead to effective and efficient answers to these issues.2
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1 See also the BiOPOFproject which is initiated by the GreenICT foundation.
2 See also the RemiNDproject which is initiated by the GreenICT foundation and this article.