Pollution new technologies: computers, internet, hi-tech ... 2

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Continuation and end folder on the computer Pollution and new technologies.

Businesses have a key role, with their greedy parks equipment in energy and every effort counts, including regarding IT. It is now recognized that business computing - from desktops to servers - can count up to 25% of the energy consumed by a company. At the same time, the Chinese economy feels the need to modernize, and to connect Internet in order to gain efficiency and become more competitive in the global echelon. These two trends converge, the need exists, both for developed economies and those in development path, to adopt environmentally responsible technology.
Which fields do you work in China?
Our main marketing effort in China is on our processors, which are becoming plebiscites by the market. This is the case in the ultra mobility computing industry, or our processors high efficiency energetics has are increasingly successful in new projects builders. This is the case also for walking with our Eco PC processor has zero carbon footprint.
Recall that this processor is the world's first zero carbon footprint is: all of CO2 emission generated by the operation of the processor over a period of three years subject to a carbon offset through a comprehensive program for the realization reforestation projects, alternative energy and energetics preservation. Let us not forget the many post-type thin client products, or VIA owns a share of overall walking 50%.
What are the repercussions on the energy consumption?
Our desktop processor consumes only 20 watts, while our competitors reach 89 watts. But this is not enough because, at the scale of the company, the heat dissipation caused by the entire IT infrastructure in place requires additional air conditioning or efficient cooling devices. By using a computer with a good efficiency energetics, we obtain an indirect Energy Saving, difficult to quantify, but that ultimately impact the overall bill.
Can we expect similar devices in the world?
With the increasing awareness of environmental problems worldwide, and the considerable role that can play IT companies by reducing the gas emissions greenhouse, we believe that more and more eco-friendly products like this will arrive on the market in both economies in Emerging than in developed economies.

Google's "hidden" farms, big energy consumers

Google maintains the mystery. It's hard to pinpoint the locations of its "farms," ​​scattered server centers around the globe. Specialized French sites in the search engine, such as Web Rank Info or Dico du Net, try to register them, even if they are not credited in some cases with "out of service since ...". But the brand is finding it harder and harder to hide its new constructions, too imposing not to attract attention. The firm would own between 45 and 60 server farms around the world.
D'after Martin Reynolds, a Gartner analyst quoted by the New York Times, Google would be the fourth global manufacturer of servers after Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. The firm invested 1,5 2006 billion dollars for its development and in particular for its operational centers. A large part of this investment is devoted to building a huge data center built in a city of 12 500 inhabitants, The Dalles, on the banks of the Columbia River in Oregon. A complex the size of two football fields impossible to hide even if the firm uses a nominee, Design LLC, to engage 2005 start talks.
This new firm, reports the New York Times, consists of two rectangular buildings, each equipped with a cooling unit. The site, located about 1000 km from Mountain View Googleplex, would have been chosen for the optical fiber presence and its proximity to a hydroelectric dam that will cool the servers but especially to reduce the cost of electricity.
Because as reported by Olivier Duffez, author of Google Tips from pros, "given the number of machines that run 24 hours on 24, it is customary to say that to know where the data centers Google, just search for electricity is the cheapest. According to the New York Times, a data center of this size would consume as much electricity as an American city of 40 000 people.
The brand avoided, nevertheless, to account on its energy consumption. The New York Times estimated in 2006, the number of Google servers was to 450 000. Including the consumption of servers Google has the world's servers consumption, estimated at 123 terawatt hours annually, this increases to 1,7%, the report said Jonathan G. Koomey, which makes authority. According to our calculations, Google therefore consume 2,1 terawatt hours per year, the equivalent of two nuclear power plants. Questioned by the Monde.fr Erik Teetzel, technical project manager at Google, declined to comment this estimate does not include the need for systems of cooling and air conditioning.
To avoid the proliferation of servers too greedy energy, the firm has to bet on the effectiveness of each of them. Google uses low-cost, low-power PCs (250 watts) with specially designed Sun processors to optimize power consumption. And to woo the brand in turn, the Intel engineers, new suppliers since 2007 search engine, have been "maniac to the point of designing a single motherboard for them, unique memory strips, working on every aspect cost, "says Pat Gelsinger, co-head of the Intel Digital Enterprise Group.
Recently, Google has developed another way to reduce its astronomical costs in energy while improving its image. In the 2007 spring, more than 9 000 solar panels were installed on the roof of the Googleplex buildings at Montain View. The goal of the "Clean Power" project is to produce 1,6 megawatt per day - 0,6 terawatt hour per year - (the equivalent of consuming 1 000 California homes) and thus to reduce by 30% per day its electricity requirements. Prime time.

Computer polluters

Pollution of a computer starts well before he finishes in the trash. According to a report published in 2003 by Eric Williams and Ruediger Kuehr, two academics working for the UN, produce a desktop computer is use the equivalent of nearly two tons of natural resources. While other consumer goods, such as a refrigerator or a car require only two times their weight in fossil fuels and chemicals, a computer 24 kilograms reclame at least ten times his. Or 240 kg of fuel and 22 kg of chemicals, not including 1,5 ton of water. The manufacture of silicon chips, pieces that allow the processing of information within each machine is particularly energy intensive. It must not be less than 1,6 kg of fossil materials, 72 grams of chemicals and 30 liters of pure water to melt each.
Computers contain many pollutants hazardous to those who handle the time of manufacture, and for anyone who would later be in contact with the electronic waste, directly or indirectly. In addition to lead and mercury, whose harmful effects are known, there is a series of compounds with unpronounceable names. Flame retardants are included. These contaminants, used to counter the risk of fire, located on the inside of the monitors. If their effects are not yet known all, a study of the Centre of expertise in environmental analysis in Quebec suspected of being responsible for hyperthyroidism and the development of the nervous system disorder.
Other dangerous, cadmium, which is used as a protective coating for ferrous metals. When it rejected in nature, it is absorbed by the organic matter in soils and by aquatic organisms (mussels, oysters, shrimps, prawns, fish). If ingested by humans, it can cause gastro-enteritis and may be carcinogenic.
Also used for the manufacture of computers, hexavalent chromium, carcinogenic substance, is a compound which watered the components to prevent corrosion. Present in the wastewater, it can reach the water table, and by repercussion be found in tap water. Finally polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used for printed circuits to make them non-flammable, have effects at the level of hepatic function, thyroid and estrogen.
Since the publication of the UN report, the legislation has evolved. RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) was adopted by the European Union in 2005 and came into force in France on July 1er 2006. It prohibits the sale of electrical and electronic products containing the products mentioned in the report of Eric Williams and Ruediger Kuehr. China, Japan and South Korea, the main producers of this type of equipment, have indicated their intention to introduce similar provisions.

The ecological cost of e-commerce

With 12 billion euros in turnover in e-commerce in France in 2006, Internet looks like a large shop window. Fevad (Federation of companies selling remote) repertorie henceforth 22 000 shopping sites on secure platforms - against 5 800 2003 in. In perpetual growth, the economy of the immaterial gradually takes for traditional market shares in the field of cultural products, tourism, clothing and computers. According to Forrester Research, e-commerce is expected to reach 263 billion in revenue in 2011 in the European market.
In the absence of being absolutely clean, is this new mode of consumption no less harmful than the traditional economy? Does not the network replace, for example, the long-range hypermarkets? In the United States, proselytes of the Internet regularly refer to 3 D: "demobilization, dematerialization and decarbonization".
"Demobilization" offers the prospect of a significant reduction in the energy consumed by transport. The "dematerialisation" suggests a decrease in the areas allocated to supermarkets, as well as a reduction in the distribution chain. As for "decarbonisation", it is a direct consequence of the two previous evolutions: it corresponds to a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
The benefits of the Net economy for the environment are currently the subject of little study. "E-commerce encourages massive customization of production and marketing techniques through" just in time "," just enough "and" just for you "modes, which can reduce consumption," say Daniel Sui and David Rejeski, two American academics in a study conducted in 2002. "The rise of e-commerce can reduce the number of shopping centers and the superfluous space they occupy. This can lead to a dismantling of shopping centers in the United States. "
A report by the OECD 1999 considers the generalization of e-commerce could reduce 12,5% of the construction of buildings intended for trade. Finnish university for their part, tried to quantify the eventual ecological gain from e-commerce. According to their results, errands on the Internet, instead of move could reduce to a 0,3 1,3% of the Finnish emission greenhouse gas.
However, American researchers MM. Sui and Rejeski warn against any form of idealization. "The energy-saving potential of the Internet is undeniable, but it is still too early to paint an idyllic landscape of the environmental impact of the emerging digital economy. Any positive development is potentially a source of negative development, "they conclude.
If he makes the offer more flexible e-commerce also creates new needs. Internet users consume henceforth night and day and are spending more. Internet also abolishes borders but not distances. In 2001, Scott Matthews and Chris Hendrickson, two University of Pittsburgh, have compared the environmental cost of American best-selling books, available online and in the traditional trade.
If the e-commerce distribution costs are lower, the amount of emitted carbon dioxide emission remains the same as in traditional sales channels. The air transport induced by the e-commerce counterbalances the trucking supermarkets. The pollution is still very much present on autouroutes information.

The laborious beginnings of recycling computer waste in France

The collection of electronic and electrical waste is still far from the goal by the french poster Status: achieving a recycling and promote the 4 14 kilograms of this waste that each French takes on average scrap each year. For six months, local authorities and manufacturers are required to implement the selective collection of computers, mobile phones, refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, etc. This is what is required by the European Directive on waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), transposed into French regulations on November 15 2006, late compared to most neighboring countries.
Sylviane Troadec, director of Valdelec, one of France's leading WEEE recycling companies, does not hide her impatience. "We are less than 30% of the expected tonnage, less than 1,2 kg per capita," she warns. Only about 300 local communities have signed contracts for selective collection, says the National Recycling Circle, which represents these communities. They are even less likely to have concretely launched the collection.
Elected and "eco-organisms" to supervise the collection are responsible for these delays. Sarah Martin, from the Environment and Energy Management Agency, delays: "Do not expect miracles. The organization of collection channels is complex. This WEEE expert points out that local authorities that have already signed collection contracts bring together 16 million French. But the start is slow. The director of Valdelec points out: "The municipalities are often circumspect, they fear to have to strengthen the security of the waste, because of the many bands of metal thieves. But Sylviane Troadec hopes that, year after year, the recycling line will have reached its cruising speed before the end of 2008.
After collection, recycling. By grinding or by manual sorting, a dozen specialized companies are responsible for cleaning up the CRTs or recover the metal circuits and cables. They are financed by the manufacturers of WEEE and ultimately by consumers themselves, who pay henceforth a tax on each equipment: two euros for a desktop computer and a lower screen twenty inches, thirty cents for a laptop.
"The main difficulty is plastics," says Fabrice Mathieux, a Grenoble university specialist in recycling ecodesign. "There are only industrial recycling processes for three types of plastics in our 30s commonly used in the manufacture of WEEE," he says. The director of Valdelec confirms: "The plastics are dismantled, but their treatment is still in its infancy. The problem is not technical but economical: increasing the number of industrial processes is expensive, and there is not necessarily a demand for each type of recycled plastic.
As a result, there remains a blur on the finally recycled portion of each electronic or electrical equipment, set at 65% of its weight for a computer by the European directive. "Recyclers are often forced to make a choice between their profitability and the imperatives of the directive," notes Fabrice Mathieux. The director of Valdelec explains frankly: "We are not yet really controlled, very smart who can say if everyone respects the recycling rate. "
The word "recycling" gives the illusion that the materials of an object can have multiple life cycles. In the case of computers, we are still far from the account.

Update on legislation

The convention of Bale, in 1989 adopted and entered into force in 1992, took stock of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal. Created originally to prevent the transfer of hazardous substances and waste from rich to poor countries, it was amended in 1995 (Basel Ban Amendment) to include the countries of the EU, OECD and Liechtenstein and prohibit exports to all other member countries. The United States has so far not ratified the Convention or amendment Bale and exports recorded by the Ban to China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc. remain a deliberate violation of the international convention.
In Europe, the alarm was late. National, European or even international directives are promulgated, with more or less severity in their application. However, it has been several decades since the collection and recycling of waste packaging or glasses are taken into account in Europe. For electronic waste, the first recycling directive called "WEEE" (for waste electrical and electronic equipment) was born in 2002 and was voted in 2003. Its entry into force at European level took place in August 2005 and its transposition in France dates only from 15 November 2006. The latest entrants have been granted a reprieve for its implementation: Slovenia has been granted one year, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Latvia two years to reach the minimum threshold of 4 kg WEEE collected. and valued per year per inhabitant that the Directive imposes.
On the other side of the chain, manufacturers and distributors of home appliance products were henceforth required to put in place systems of recovery, return and adapted treatment. For traders, there are also obliged to take back the equipment replaced by the purchase of a new equivalent product. Finally, for individuals, henceforth each purchase includes a special recycling charge, calculated on the weight of the object. One euro cent for iPod, thirty cents for a laptop, and two euros for a desktop computer screen.
The United States are still in the experimentation: some states like California or Washington are very in advance, Imitating the EU directive but figure are isolated cases. In Asia, Japan has taken the problem very seriously since 2001 and remains ahead of Europe thanks to a law on HOUSEHOLD WASTE soon adapted to computer equipment.
But the directives are not everything, it is also necessary to create recycling networks, and especially to educate: green labels for the preservation of the environment have emerged in order to sensitize the future customers to the "saving gesture". The Energy Star eco-label, set up by the European community, is a guarantee that the device purchased is energy-efficient. At the global level, the TCO label is a benchmark in terms of energy saving and respect for the environment. However, it is Greenpeace with its "Guide for a responsible high-tech", a classification without concessions of the efforts of the biggest manufacturers of the electronic industry, which challenges the best.
The most serious problem mainly lies in the lack of implementation by States of these guidelines: despite the agreement of Bale, Europe, the US and Japan continue to export illegally Waste and toxic, particularly to Discharge of Southeast Asia.

The computer industry has the time of the "green attitude"

In recent months, computer and server manufacturers have adopted the "green attitude" and claim that their computers are "ultra low consumption" and "carbon free", and that their servers are "low wattage" (low consumption ).

HP and Chinese VIA specialize in "green" computers for businesses and the general public. They have marketed a range of ultra-low-power desktops and laptops by developing the world's first zero carbon footprint processor, with maximum power consumption approaching 20 watts.

The giant IBM has since March declined its new family of servers and focuses on reducing energy consumption rather than the endless race for speed and power. These new "low wattage" machines will be able to operate at 40 or 50 watts, two times less than conventional servers. Not insignificant benefit for companies, a low electricity bill - so a return on investment at three years - but also a decrease in heating in the server rooms and therefore a reduction in the cooling system, which alone would represent half of the electrical consumption of the hosts.
But all manufacturers have not yet put themselves: Apple, in particular, has been strongly criticized by Greenpeace. He is committed to being greener (greener). The movement seems primed.

The ecological discoveries computer manufacturers

Eliminate toxic products of computer circuit manufacture and develop less greedy energy machines. Multiply industrial eco-responsible initiatives. To cite a few examples, the Swedish company SWEDX in partnership with Samsung produces wireless USB mouse (photo), keyboards and wide wooden screens. For its part, ColdWatt manufactures power supplies for W 650 1 200 of computers W, which produce 45% less heat and consume 30% of energy in less than a conventional diet.

In Japan, the company Lupo sells a recyclable PC case, made entirely of cardboard (photo), for about 75 euros. The recyclable box mounts itself by removing the perforated parts of the cardboard and folding the lines according to the traces. So many initiatives that foreshadow a rise in power of "green" computers in the coming decades.
More recently, the giant Google and Intel have announced that they joined their efforts to those of Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft to create computers in less greedy energy. Computer manufacturers have undertaken to put on the market for low power machines, and companies using these machines as Google or IBM buy. The goal is to reduce 50% of IT electrical consumption by a 2010.

Tips for consuming less

Many sites, such Eco-Blog or Tree Hugger (English), repertorient simple actions that can reduce energy consumption of its IT equipment.
- Buy used equipment.
- For fans screens dishes, preferer LCD models rather than plasmas, which consume more energy.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Do not leave electronic equipment on standby but turn off completely.
- Wait until the battery is empty his laptop before recharging to make it last longer.
Before throwing his old computer demode, thinking to see if it could not be sold on auction sales site, or if the manufacturer has a recycling program.

Take a step back from the ambient "technophilia" that encourages the constant renewal of its equipment or know which companies respect the environment and choose accordingly.


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