Monday, 13 February 2012

Are we Green?

This is an interesting question and one I'll leave up to you to decide, once you've gone through the list below:

Travel: Carbon3IT Ltd use a smart 42 pulse, this costs £30 to tax, £290ish to insure, £35 to fill up and we get around 300 miles to a tank depending on whether we' re driving locally or to a client.
For longer trips and always for trips to London we use the Chiltern Mainline, it would be rude not to, seeing as we have a railway station on our doorstep.

In our office we use an electric aga for cooking, but it also fills the kitchen with heat, and surprisingly energy efficient, it works like a fridge and keep to a set temperature, we've turned off the small oven as well.
Every light except 3 have energy efficient lightbulbs.
Our main heating and water are from LPG gas, stored in a tank outside.
We've also had 300 mm equivalent of insulation installed in the attic, this on top of 50mm of some pebbly stuff that is an insulator.
We have draught excluders on every door

What we intend to do is as follows:
We want to build an extension that will be zero carbon, with solar panels, underfloor heating and if we can we'll install either a GSHP or an ASHP, everything will be from sustainable sources and rest assured that we will keep everyone up to date via this blog, all we need to do now is to find some money.

Technology wise, we have a Very PC PC, this is the broadleaf model and it uses 66% less electricity than its competitors.
We also run Greentrac on all our PC's and have instigated active profile management that is quite agressive, if you're not using the pc for 10 minutes it'll go into an automatic low power state.
We also use automatic power strips for both the computer area and the tv area that will turn everything off if a master component like the TV or PC are switched off.

Our electricity bills are approx £1200 per year, our heating/water bills are about £700, intend to reduce this by as much as we can over the coming years.

We also think we deserve some recognition for our business activities which after all are to reduce IT related energy consumption, we do this with our consultancy services, our assessment services and our products supply services (Greentrac, Very PC, Concurrent Command & Control products)

We have reduced our electricity and heating/water bill by active management such as washing up less, turning off components when not in use, turning off lights etc, but we know we can do better.

This week.

Its quite busy, we're off to the renewable energy expo at Malvern tomorrow or Wednesday, more info on this link and then Cambridge for a CEEDA assessment visit.

In the meantime, we have a previous CEEDA assessment thats needs a review, this is routine, all CEEDA assessments are passed to an independent audit for scrutinity, and we get together after the visit and the auditors review to check that we're all happy with the award offered.

The wife has an interview tomorrow for a position in Strategic Planning, hope it goes well, the job is right up her street and I know that she can make a difference to the organisation and all their properties.

The Child is away with the Gramps, and we should see her on Thursday.

Friday is a birthday and on Saturday we're all going to see "Swallows & Amazons" in Coventry.

Thats it, until next time.

Friday, 3 February 2012

IBM Greenwash?

You may have seen some press releases from IBM stating that they have been "awarded" the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres" for some 27 data centres throughout Europe. more info on this link IBM Press Release.
Unfortunately, IBM are not being entirely 100% truthful with this statement and I am sure that other commentators will be on their case soon enough.
So, whats the issue?
Well, I'm sure IBM are working very hard within their data centres to reduce energy consumption and to implement many of the code of coduct best practices, but all the EU has done is to ratify an application by IBM to be a participant to the code of conduct, this takes the form of an application to the JRC for participant status and a committment by IBM to implement as many of the best practices contained within the EU Code of Conduct in a 3 year period, and to provide environmental data to the EU JRC yearly.
So, basically, its not an award.
An award would be, if IBM had instigated an independent body to assess their data centres to the required standard, had the assessment audited and had then been awarded a level of award by an appropriate body such as the British Computer Society.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

We applaud IBM for applying for recognition that they are intending to or have implemented the best practices as indicated in the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres but essentially this is a self assessment, we'd like them to go one step further and get these 27 facilities assessed for CEEDA, which is an independently assessed and audited review of how far they actually are in implementing the best practices.

Until that point in time, IBM are merely using their application to "greenwash" their environmental credentials, and whilst IBM actions have probably been taken with good intent and to aid the development of the EU Code of Conduct to a wider audience, it also boosts their own activities with a falsehood.

Carbon3IT Ltd could have stated that we were "awarded" endorser" to the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres back in July 2010 and this would have boosted our credentials, but we did not, we said that we'd been granted "endorser" status.