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.

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