Technology, Transparency and the New Compliance

When Andrew Winston, author of The Big Pivot and Green to Gold, took the stage at the recent @Emerging_Green conference, he quipped that it was less surprising to learn that Volkswagen had been caught cheating than that they thought nobody would find out. “It’s not 1984 with Big Brother watching,” he gibed. “It’s 2015 and…

Five Stars for @Emerging_Green

I live at the intersection of Sustainability and Electronics. From the moment I learned that the Green Electronics Council (GEC) was producing its first conference, I was excited. Though I’ve attended a fair number of sustainability events, and have produced even more, this is the first conference that squarely addressed the whole of the electronics…

E-Waste in the Facility: Plague or Profit?

Getting rid of the trash is a function that frequently falls to facilities management. As trash equates to waste, trash itself is a worthy target for the sustainability-minded, the economically minded, and the efficiency-minded. Eliminating the root causes of waste typically translates to less use, less spend, and even process optimization. Take paper, as an…

Invisible Consumption

“Consumption,” another word for tuberculosis, is still a major killer even though it doesn’t get a lot of mainstream press. “Consumption” in the form of the goods and services we consume – particularly in the United States – gets a fair amount of press from the sustainability community. Consumption is a part of everyday life;…

Mega e-Waste

Most of us have a pretty tough time grasping magnitude. If we haven’t experienced it directly, it’s often difficult to imagine. And I think our inability to comprehend enormity contributes to our complacence toward environmental stresses. For example, we don’t come into direct contact with 7 billion people – we experience population in our local…

Toward Greener Computing

Technology consumes power. More technology consumes more power. A growing population consumes even more technology, which consumes more power. In the past 20 years, we’ve gone from people who turn technology on and off to people who are connected to and reliant on technology 24/7, so the power consumption is continuous. Technology growth has momentum…

At the Core of Sustainable Electronics

There’s rightfully much ado about the climate—from extreme weather events, severe droughts and water crises to fossil fuels and the race to renewables. However, there’s far too little talk about electronics and their roles in environmental ecosystems. Ironically, the folks who say, “Don’t worry, we’ll invent solutions to all our problems” are typically envisioning some…

1.5 Tons of Water

I’ve talked about the embedded energy in electronics – the energy used to create or manufacture a product. I’ve talked about the rare earth minerals and the other mined materials that go into electronics. But I’ve yet to talk about the water. According to the National Resources Defense Council, in addition to the more than…

Sustainatopia Comes to Boston – Call to Speakers

I enjoyed both attending and presenting at Sustainatopia in both Miami and L.A. last year. As a networking conference, it can’t be beat. This fall, Sustainatopia is coming to Boston, and my prediction is that it’ll be the best Sustainatopia to date. Why? Because here in Boston we’re rife with sustainability innovation – from clean…

Greener Chips?

As the world embraces technology in every crevice, the concern that virtually all electronics are made from nonrenewable materials keeps me up at night. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard about computer chips made from wood. New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison published on May 26 “demonstrates the feasibility of replacing…