Sorry for the long hiatus here. I have been waiting for a response from IBM's Steve Sams regarding a URL where IBM might host the presentation that I saw at the Gartner Conference (and reported on last month), but I have not yet received a response with the URL. Maybe it will come through shortly. Hint.
I contributed to the blog at Greener Computing and wrote about something I usually don't follow closely: supply chain management in the electronics industry. It is an indepth interview with Bonnie Gardiner Nixon of Hewlett Packard and we focused mostly on how computers are built rather than their disposal. But we did discuss the EICC, the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct.
I was dismayed, therefore, to pick up the January 2008 copy of National Geographic Magazine and read their article on page 64 titled "High-Tech Trash" which didn't have anything positive to say about the electronics industry's attempts to protect emerging economies from the dirty work of dismantling our computers. Less than 2% of computers are recycled for use leaving 98% to be torn apart for their mineral content. You will find it heartbreaking to see a photo of someone melting down lead in the same pan he will be eating dinner from in a few hours (page 76 in in the print edition). Just look front and center on the NGM URL home page, or learn more here. When I took the online exam (10 questions on e-waste knowledge) I scored a 50%! I guess I have a lot to learn. I encourage you to read more on the topic so that you can influence your corporation on purchasing policies that address the ugly topic of electronics life cycle management (where does all the old equipment go in your company?) while I address energy efficiency in the data center first, ewaste at some future date.
Separately, at the DOE/EPA planning meeting earlier this week in Santa Clara about Data Center Energy Star Ratings criteria and subsequent questions for a survey, the room was filled with data center celebs - really a stellar cast of academics, hardware vendors, engineering firms representatives, and I can't think of a single enterprise end user. Where are end users in this process? They were physically absent - but not intentionally and not by design. Although they weren't in the room, they were certainly taken into account. I observed that the conversation about what goes into the Data Center Energy Star reporting template was very much about the content that served end users patting themselves on the back for their intentions and accomplishments - (can I tweak this so I get the highest scores in my industry?) as much as or more than providing government with information for the greater good, to promote an intelligent national energy policy.
Perhaps there is another model to consider rather than the Energy Star for buildings, which currently has participation rates of 1% of TAM (Total Addressable Market when you are making an investor pitch). Maybe there are other other models that would garner 3% or even 5% participation. There are other successful paradigms for surveys than self-reporting and a plaque. What about a lottery for companies that provide 90% or more verifiable data on their template responses? What about a $1500 contribution to a 501C3 non profit on accurate responses to the survey? Those are carrots but we also have sticks, such as the whistleblower protection programs. I am raising the questions and I admit I ndon't have an easy answer in mind. Next blog from Bangalore! Have a Green Day!