GTB IT Solutions

Is IT going green?

January 11th, 2023

Most of us are concerned about the environment, and it is no secret that IT consumes huge resources globally.

It’s not just the fact that hardware is replaced every few years, but also because every holiday snap of your beloved dog, cat, child, is backed up online and sits in a data centre.

These data centres use a huge amount of electricity and resources in the process.

The good news is, that we are noticing that things are changing, in the right direction.

Here are a few great innovations that are making incremental changes to the environmental impact.

Cardboard packaging:

Just a few years ago, we would end up with piles of polystyrene packaging, that the computers, monitors, phones and every other IT devices were packaged in.

This packaging was NOT recyclable and we could only pay for it to be dumped.

Now, very little packaging comes with IT equipment. Nearly everything now uses pre-pressed cardboard. This contains far less material as it is shaped and not solid, and can go directly into recycling. What a great difference this simple change has made.

Better electronics:

The latest devices tend to use far less power than the ones a few years ago. The processors are more powerful, and less power hungry.

Because they consume less power, they need less cooling and less cooling means they can be designed to use less materials. Manufacturers are thinking hard about how to reduce power consumption.

Smaller devices:

Devices are generally getting smaller and therefore use less materials in manufacture.

The classic example of this is the move several years ago now from the huge CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors to the much thinner and lighter digital screens.

GTB’s recycling racks used to always have these huge monitors being returned from clients for recycling, whereas now we don’t see any.

The other clear example is moving from the older desktop computers to predominantly NUCS or mini-PCs, which have a fraction of the raw materials. Again, our recycling racks would be full of old desktop computers, whereas now there is just a small pile of dead NUCs.

Better recycling:

The recycling services have also improved. We pay for recycling to be taken away as we know it actually goes to secure, specialist IT recycling. Councils also offer a free e-waste service at the local dump. Whilst e-waste continues to be a huge global issue, GTB are seeing small gains locally.

Use of recycled materials:

Some laptop brands have started using recycled materials in the construction of equipment such as laptop cases, and laptop bags, even letting you know how many plastic bottles it took to make them!

Carbon offset schemes:

Some manufacturers are also offering carbon offset schemes, where you can offset the emissions used in producing and manufacturing the equipment. Ask us for more details if you are interested.

Recently, Mark went to an industry conference and was pleasantly surprised by the number of manufacturers innovating to make their products greener. Manufacturers are aware that consumers are increasingly aware of the impact on the environment, and want to make a point of difference.

Whilst it is not all roses. We still despair at the number of plastic bags that are used, and how every little thing comes in its own bag.

In summary, we wanted to let you know that there are many notable changes going on in the IT industry to make it ‘greener’ and less damaging to our planet.

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