Energy Internet and eVehicles Overview

Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to prepare society for inevitable climate change. To date most people have been focused on how to reduce Green House Gas emissions, but now there is growing recognition that regardless of what we do to mitigate against climate change the planet is going to be significantly warmer in the coming years with all the attendant problems of more frequent droughts, flooding, sever storms, etc. As such we need to invest in solutions that provide a more robust and resilient infrastructure to withstand this environmental onslaught especially for our electrical and telecommunications systems and at the same time reduce our carbon footprint.

Linking renewable energy with high speed Internet using fiber to the home combined with autonomous eVehicles and dynamic charging where vehicle's batteries are charged as it travels along the road, may provide for a whole new "energy Internet" infrastructure for linking small distributed renewable energy sources to users that is far more robust and resilient to survive climate change than today's centralized command and control infrastructure. These new energy architectures will also significantly reduce our carbon footprint. For more details please see:

Using autonomous eVehicles for Renewable Energy Transportation and Distribution: and

Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top:

High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change:

Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet:

How to use Green Bond Funds to underwrite costs of new network and energy infrastructure:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Australian Minister for Broadband speaks about broadband and climate change

[The Australian government gets it. The fact that they have a minister for broadband, communications and digital economy speaks volumes about the importance the government places on this issue. It is also likely that the Australian R&E network AARnet will play a critical role in the deployment of the nation’s broadband strategy. Being a facilities based R&E network (i.e it owns the underlying fiber) gives AARnet considerable flexibility and adaptability to such opportunities. Thanks to Paul Budde for a posting on Gordon Cooks Arch-econ list for this pointer . Some excerpts– BSA]

“Digital technologies will underpin our future carbon constrained economy.

broadband infrastructure will be the platform upon which the economy operates in the 21st century.

Australia has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2020 and this will require an economy-wide response.

The fact is, broadband is green technology.

In fact, it is an enabler of efficiencies that could drive major reductions in carbon emissions.

In the energy sector, providers plan to use broadband to improve the way they monitor and manage power distribution.

Using broadband to connect power consumers with power generators allows them to harness ways to make distribution more efficient and reliable.

Smart grids connected by broadband raise the potential to not only monitor energy use but to allow remote adjustment of lights or temperature.

For households this means opportunities for reduced power consumption and costs.

Remote control of connected appliances, thermostats and electric meters will help energy companies balance the peaks and troughs of daily usage.

This in turn allows them to sell the recovered power on the market, reducing the need for new power generators.

For the country it means the very real possibility of significant carbon emission reductions.

In Australia and elsewhere, providers are already testing smart grid networks.

Estimates in the US have put the cost savings for consumers between 5 and 25 per cent.

One couple, early adopters of a pilot smart grid in Miami, claim they are saving $100 a month simply by keeping an eye on their digital energy meter.

The information allows them to understand household consumption trends and to adjust their habits accordingly.

The Fibre-to-the-Home Council commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to research the potential sustainability benefits of broadband.

Based on a count of 20 million FTTH users in Europe with 10 per cent of the population teleworking three days per week by 2015, it estimates greenhouse-gas emission savings per user of 330kg, equivalent to a car travelling 2,000 kilometres.

Research also shows that improving telecommunications use could result in significant savings for Australia.

In fact, Climate Risk has estimated that local energy and travel savings alone could be worth up to $6.6 billion annually.

It noted a number of major opportunities for communications to improve energy efficiency, including:

* Remote appliance power management,
* De-centralised business districts,
* Real-time freight management,
* Increased renewable energy, and
* High Definition video conferencing.

These are exactly the kind of applications that will be enabled via the National Broadband Network.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More on the paradox of energy efficiency and becoming "IT resource positive"

[Jay Gill, Doug MacLeod and Rod Tucker have made some thoughtful comments on the paradox of energy efficiency that need re-emphasizing and may not have been stated clearly in my original posting . In email correspondence Jay points out that although efficiency may lead to greater consumption –“ this effect is only true to the extent that efficiency is pursued without corresponding policies to limit CO2.” And as Rod Tucker points out, rather than wasting energy, a carbon neutral homes should be feeding energy back into the grid, something which Doug Macleod refers to being as being resource positive. This begs the question not only can ICT be used for GHG abatement as outlined by SMART 2020, but also perhaps be resource positive in actually reducing demand for dirty energy – BSA]

Dear Bill,

I read with interest your April 21, 2009 post titled “The fallacy of energy efficiency, green data centers and smart grids”, in which you argue that energy efficiency is not the most important consideration. I agree that ultimately a reduction of global CO2 emissions is paramount. But it is a mistake to translate this notion to a requirement that every individual system on the planet should be independently carbon neutral.

Take, for example, your closing comment about carbon neutral homes, where you state that “Once you are zero carbon you can be as wasteful or efficient with energy as your heart desires”. In a socially-responsible context this misses the point. There is a limited supply of renewable energy on the planet (e.g. solar cells, wind turbines etc.) and the only responsible treatment of this energy requires that it is used efficiently. Rather than wasting energy, a carbon neutral home should be feeding energy back into the power grid, or in some other way providing neighbors with the surplus energy.

Energy efficiency is just as important as carbon neutrality. The only way to save the planet is to combine renewable energy with energy efficiency in everything. One severe limitation of the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate is that it is not reversible. In other words, while the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate shows us how increased energy efficiency can result in increased energy usage (e.g. wide-bodied jets) it provides us with no advice on how to solve the inverse problem, which is to reduce energy consumption.

In the context of the Internet and cloud computing, last year’s Smart2020 report from the Climate Group showed that even though the greenhouse footprint of Information and communications Technologies (ICT) will increase by a factor of three from 2002 and 2020, the carbon abatements resulting from clever usage of ICT (e.g. travel replacement via video conferencing) could result in a global reduction of 7.8 Gtonnes of CO2 per annum. This reduction in CO2 is equivalent to five times the direct ICT footprint in 2020. So growth of the Internet and ICT can lead to very beneficial outcomes.

My conclusion is that network engineers have a responsibility to focus on improving energy efficiency in every part of the network. Wherever possible (but realistically, not everywhere), one should use renewable sources of energy to power the network. And in situations where improvements in network efficiency result in a surplus of renewable energy, that surplus renewable energy can be used to replace polluting power sources that power other infrastructure.

Rod Tucker

Bill – I wanted to thank you for your recent posting on alternative energy and energy efficiency. You end by mentioning the value of a net zero approach and I wanted to share with you an emerging idea called “resource positive” design that suggests that the things we create should improve the environment. This means, for example, that a building would generate more energy than it needs or that a community would purify more water than it uses. A resource positive approach would also have enormous economic impact including in areas such as networking and connectivity. One of your previous posts mentioned the sharing of cellular towers and we all know of the example of overlapping wireless networks in residential neighbourhoods. What if our communities took on the responsibility of sharing connectivity through wireless mesh networks and for connecting to other communities nearby? What if we also acknowledge that the current generation is beginning to produce more content than they consume (albeit often in recycled form)? In effect we would be reversing many of the economic equations which currently see consumers paying more and more for utilities, content and services and getting less and less.

I have included the url to a recent article I wrote for Canadian Architect on the subject which will provide more background and examples – please feel free to share it with others if you find it of interest.

Douglas MacLeod
Executive Director

Okanagan Science & Technology Council
Suite 320, 1632 Dickson Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 7T2
Phone: 250.712.3343 Fax: 250.861.4728

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More on tools for universities, virtualization and clouds on reducing CO2 footprint

[Here a couple of good pointers on calculating GHG footprint for schools and universities. In my last post I erroneously reported that new EPA reporting requirement is 15000 mtCO2e when it should have read 25,000 mtCO2e—BSA]
This is relevant as the US EPA announced GHG reporting requirements for facilities with a GHG footprint of 25,000 tonnes/yr or more. We estimate this is 15,000+ facilities in the US and may affect industry, institutions, schools, hospitals, etc. We anticipate Canada will follow the US lead on reporting and future compliance.

Carbon Footprinting 101: Establishing a Baseline for Your GHG Emissions
Complimentary Webinar, presented by World Energy and ClimateCHECK
April 22, 2009 at 2:00 PM EDT
President Obama has stated that his administration will pursue aggressive policies to curb climate change and many expect legislation imposing mandatory control on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to pass in 2010. While there is much debate about what shape this legislation will take, many organizations are taking action now to understand the potential risks and enhance opportunities. Will your organization be ready?

Join Steve McDonough, Vice President, GHG Management Innovations, for a complimentary one hour webinar as he discusses early stage strategies organizations can take to understand the risks and opportunities associated with current regional regulatory programs (RGGI, WCI, etc.), voluntary programs and the likely requirements of federal legislation.

In this webinar, Steve will focus on the steps organizations can take to inventory and report their current GHG emissions (carbon footprinting) while also providing an overview of best practices to manage and reduce future GHG emissions including inventory management plans, GHG information management systems, and supply chain analysis.

Key takeaways:
• Steps involved in GHG inventory development and reporting
• GHG best management practices to help support inventory development and reporting
• Strategies to identify internal emission reduction activities
• Things to consider when evaluating and purchasing offsets
• Overview of current regional regulatory programs and latest federal regulatory updates
Webinar Details:

Zerofootprint and Cybernomics launch One Minute ECOnomics Carbon Calculator

Calculator gives personalized metrics to business looking to employ a
sustainability strategy within their IT department based on carbon

Toronto, March 25, 2009 – Zerofootprint and Cybernomics are proud to
announce the launch of their One Minute ECOnomics Carbon Calculator, found
on both and Designed to
measure IT infrastructure energy usage, the carbon calculator showcases
technologies such as virtualization. Calculations are based on real-time IT
statistics captured by Cybernomics’ Analytics platform and presented as a
benchmark for comparison of an individual company’s performance. The
calculator’s carbon engine is powered by Zerofootprint and is focused on
helping businesses measure and reduce their carbon footprint.

The ECOnomics calculator lays out exactly where a company is using the most
energy and illustrates how measures such as server virtualization, thin
client strategies, and using LCD/LED monitors can translate into immense
carbon savings. Cutting down on energy, hardware and overall management
costs through a Sustainable IT strategy is also a concrete way of better
controlling overall IT expenditure, as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Zerofootprint and Cybernomics are both members of the Think Green Alliance,
which is a business community whose members show a commitment not only to
environmental sustainability, but to the intrinsic link between
environmental and financial sustainability. Through the Think Green
Alliance, Zerofootprint and Cybernomics have also developed a mutually
beneficial working relationship: Cybernomics has recently completed a
Sustainability Audit of Zerofootprint’s IT including all servers, computers
and networks. In turn, Zerofootprint is currently undergoing a complete
Carbon Audit of Cybernomics’ business operations, offices and datacentre.
Zerofootprint and Cybernomics encourage you to visit and calculate your business’ IT infrastructure
carbon footprint.

For more information please contact:

Rhea Johnson
+1 416.915.4048 ext. 103

Kelly McGregor
+1 416.365.7557 ext. 156

The Fallacy of energy efficiency, green data centers and smart grids

[I am spurred to write this long winded post based on press release issued by Verizon today. Verizon claims that a 3% improvement in CO2 efficiency per million dollars in revenue. This sounds all very laudable, until you realize the Verizon’s year on revenue increase from 2007 was almost 5% which means that Verizon’s overall absolute value of CO2 emissions have increased. Efficiency in energy or Co2 emissions, like that cited by Verizon, is one of the enduring myths that surround the entire issue of climate change. While I agree there can be cost savings and energy efficiencies with smart use of ICTs, energy consumption is NOT the problem facing the planet. Greenhouse gas emissions are the number one problem and often energy or CO2 “efficiency” solutions as we have seen from Verizon may mask the real issue of how to reduce overall CO2 production . Far too often people confuse energy efficiency with helping reduce CO2, where in fact the problem is the energy mix. Ensuring that most, if not all, your energy comes from non-fossil fuel sources, will have much more direct impact on CO2 emissions regardless of how efficient or wasteful you are with that energy. If you are genuinely concerned about global climate change, one’s investments in technology and energy solutions should be first and foremost predicated on how they reduce CO2 emissions, and not efficiency .

The paradox of energy efficiency has been demonstrated over and over by many economists and is often referred to the Jevons paradox or Khazoom Brookes postulate where paradoxically energy efficiency increases energy consumption – and if that energy comes from dirty power sources it then increases CO2 emissions. More accurately in a paper by Horace Herring [] the postulate states that "energy efficiency improvements that, on the broadest considerations, are economically justified at the microlevel, lead to higher levels of energy consumption at the macrolevel.". The paradox applies not only to energy but also to improved efficiency in a variety of markets from labour to aircraft travel as illustrated by Herring:

“Employees are told that they must raise their productivity if they are to improve their job prospects. On the local microlevel this seems absurd, as many shop stewards (and the Luddites) once argued. However on the macrolevel the increased economic output, resulting from higher labour productivity, has lead (in the long term) to a growth in the number of employees; and

The introduction of wide bodied passenger aircraft, to replace smaller aircraft, was forecast to reduce the number of flights. In fact the resulting lower cost per passenger led, in a competitive market, to a large increase in air travel that more than offset the increased size of the aircraft. The raised productivity per aircraft called for more aircraft, not fewer .”
[From Wikipedia]
“Increased energy efficiency can increase energy consumption by three means. Firstly, increased energy efficiency makes the use of energy relatively cheaper, thus encouraging increased use. Secondly, increased energy efficiency leads to increased economic growth, which pulls up energy use in the whole economy. Thirdly, increased efficiency in any one bottleneck resource multiplies the use of all the companion technologies, products and services that were being restrained by it. One simple example is that suburban development limited by water use can be doubled if the houses adopt water efficiency measures that cut their water demand in half. That way a small efficiency can have large opposite multiplier effect. Similarly cars that use less fuel are likely to cause matching increases in the number of cars and trips and companion travel activities rather than a decrease in energy demand. It appears that these latent multipliers of opposite effects may be generally greater than the linear result of the original effect. As of late 2008 this appears to not have been factored into the general discussion of sustainability and global warming mitigation strategies.”
Green data center PUEs are another classic symptom of the same problem. While at the micro-level improving PUE is laudable the net effect is to reduce the cost of virtualization, clouds and relocating computers to data centers. We are then likely to see new applications and services take advantage of this much lower computational and storage cost, that would not be practical with todays stand alone PCs and servers, resulting in increased demand for more energy consuming data centers. If we do not design zero carbon data centers and networks from the get go, then ultimately we may end up producing more CO2 than we do today, despite a PUE approaching 1.0

The same analysis applies to Smart grids – which are being foisted on an unsuspecting public in the name of being “green”. Today’s Smart’s grid only do load displacement where the biggest beneficiary is the utility in not having to finance a new power plant. There is very little benefit to the consumer other than a modest reduction in the utility bill, which most consumers are likely to ignore in the name of convenience. Rather than load displacement smart grids utilities should be focused on offering customers tools to purchase directly energy from renewable sources on the spot market. Utilities are inherent conflict of interest with respect to smart grids are their responsibility is to make money by selling energy. An smart grid modeled on the Internet as proposed by Dr Randy Katz will probably a much better solution.

As much as possible, in every aspect in our lives aim for zero carbon as opposed to energy efficient solutions. A good example is this initiative in the UK to build zero carbon homes. Once you are zero carbon you can be as wasteful or efficient with energy as your heart desires. – BSA]

Building zero carbon homes

See also:
Building a zero carbon Internet

“Smart Grid”: R&D for an Intelligent 21st Century
Electrical Energy Distribution Infrastructure
Randy H. Katz
UC Berkeley

Technology Opportunities: The Smart Grid, Pushing Intelligence to the Edges, to
Integrate a Diversity of Energy Sources and Loads
There is much that can be done near-term to exploit information technology to improve the
reliability, visibility, and controllability of the existing grid and to support loads that reduce their
energy demand in response to price signals, through such technologies as synchronized phasors
and intelligent metering. Longer-term and more transforming, the Internet suggests alternative
organizing principles for a 21st Century Smart Grid. It succeeded by pushing intelligence to the
edges while hiding the diversity of underlying technologies through a well-defined interface.
Any device can be a source or sink of routable traffic and intelligent endpoints adapt their
behavior to what the infrastructure can deliver in accordance with localized utility functions.
Radical proposals to replace existing infrastructures, given their wide deployment, high capital
costs, and well-understood technologies, are unlikely to succeed. Here, too, the Internet offers a
model — of infrastructural co-existence and service displacement. The early network was
deployed on top of the telephone network. It provided a more resilient set of organizing
principles, became its own infrastructure, and eventually the roles reversed: services such Voice
over IP (VoIP) telephony are recent additions, having been added over time. The same approach
can yield a new architecture for local energy generation and distribution that leverages the
existing energy grid, but achieves new levels of efficiency and robustness, similar to how the
Internet has improved the phone network.
1 For the most current version of this essay, as well as related essays, visit
Imagine a system built on packetized energy: store energy where it is generated, “route” it to
where it is needed. The existing infrastructure is generally unable to store energy for later use,
yielding a centralized system with crude mechanisms to adapt load (e.g., regional exchanges,
peaker plants, curtailment) and provisioned so that users lack the means to present an easier-tomanage
load to the infrastructure. New environmentally friendly energy storage technologies are
needed, with capacity/cost metrics suitable for deployment in homes, buildings, and throughout
the transmission and generation system, including renewable/intermittent energy sources.
Combining intelligent communication protocols with energy transmission in a common
architecture makes possible distributed control and demand response to pricing signals.
Such an infrastructure design would permit a shift from peak/worst case to the average case
“with sufficient headroom,” analogous to statistical multiplexing in packet networks. The key is
to use this headroom as an input for controlling generation, storage, and loads. Standardized
intelligent “interfaces,” at the level of homes or even individual appliances, allow independent
powered operation, distributed generation, and energy exchange. The architecture should allow
aggregation to plug into the regional grid, the neighborhood peer-to-peer grid, or the facility grid
to use localized storage and control to smooth load, adapt demand, and engage in exchange.

Verizon Achieves 3% Improvement in CO2 Efficiency
Verizon's rate of 64 metric tons of CO2 emissions per million dollars in revenue in 2008 represents a year-over-year improvement of 3 percent, according to figures cited by the company. Overall, Verizon's "carbon intensity" is approximately nine times below the U.S. average, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Verizon cited a number of ongoing initiatives that should see its energy efficiency improve even more in the years ahead. In 2008, Verizon:
• Became the first telecommunications company to require that the network equipment it purchases be 20 percent more energy efficient.
• Launched an initiative to limit engine idling, which cut fuel consumption by more than 1 million gallons (equivalent to taking some 1,600 cars off the road for a year.
• Electronically delivered approximately 100 million bills to customers.
• Collected more than 1.1 million cell phones, an increase of 6 percent from 2007, through HopeLine, a Verizon Wireless program that collects, refurbishes and sells used phones to benefit domestic violence prevention programs.
• Recycled 35.1 million pounds of telecommunications equipment. (equivalent to the weight of more than 11,500 Toyota Prius sedans.)
• Focused on purchasing goods containing recycled material. As a result, 60 percent of all goods purchased by the company contained recycled material.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tools and resources for Cyber-Infrastructure users and university CIOs to reduce CO2

[Under the new EPA rules in the USA any institution that produces over 15,000 tons CO2 must register with the EPA as primary emitters (and will likely be subject to cap and trade restrictions when, and if, they are implemented by Congress). Research universities produce upwards as much as 500,000 tons of CO2 per year of which anywhere from 30-50% comes from cyber-infrastructure and campus IT. In the very near future University presidents and politicians are going to quickly realize who are the major contributors to CO2 on their campus and are going to start to demand solutions. It is also likely that research and university funding agencies, like those in the UK will also demand both university researchers and CIOs to incorporate the cost of carbon in their research or IT proposals. Here are some tools designed specifically for university IT departments and researchers that will help them reduce their CO2 footprint. I also recommend that all IT staff undertake carbon accounting courses through the not-for-profit GHG institute. Special kudos to Educause, NACUBO, ZeroFootprint and ClimateCheck for these pointers – BSA]

Update on EDUCAUSE IT Sustainability Resources [Thanks to Norma Holland for this compilation]

Recently completed
• E-Live! with Bill St.Arnard, Chief Research Officer, CANARIE, Inc. – How Universities and R&E Networks Can Be Global Leaders in Helping to Reduce Global Warming. Feb 10, 2009
• White Paper on The Role of IT in Campus Sustainability Efforts, Carie Lee Page and IT Greening and Sustainability Planners, January, 2009,
• MARC Plenary and Podcast – What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Sustainability and Green IT Initiatives That Make A Difference, Jeffry Cepull, Joe Cruz, Amy Phillips, Don Spicer
• Sustainable IT Constituent Group – chaired by Joyce Dickerson, Stanford
• NERCOMP – What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Linda Howell, Cornell; David Todd, U Vermont
• SWRC – What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Sustainability and Green IT Initiatives that Make a Difference, Elizabeth Davey, Tulane; Edward Kelty, Rio Salado; Pattie Orr, Baylor
• MWRC – Discussion Session - IT Greening and Sustainability: What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Joel Cooper, Carleton College
• E-Live! with Joyce Dickerson, Director, Sustainable IT, Stanford University – Sustainable IT, April 3rd, 1-2pm ET
• Monthly EQ Columnists – Wendell Brase, Mark Askren
• NACUBO – Smart and Sustainable Campus meeting – Norma attended, Wendell Brase presented.
• SWRC Session – What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Elizabeth Davey, Director of the Office of Environmental Affairs, Tulane University, Edward Kelty, Vice President/CIO Information Services, Rio Salado College, Pattie Orr, VP for IT and Dean of University Libraries, Baylor University
• WRC Plenary – What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Part 1, Wendell Brase, U California, Irvine -
• WRC – What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Part 2, Jennifer Allen, Portland State; Mark Askren, U California, Irvine; Joyce Dickerson, Stanford

• NACUBO – Annual Conference with Sustainability Focus – Norma Attending
• SERC Plenary – Leadership: The Key to a Sustainable Future, Joel Hartman, U Central Florida
• Enterprise2009 Plenary – Greening IT: Sustainability in the Data Center and Across Campus, Mark Askren, U Cal, Irvine
• ECAR – Study on Green IT
• EDUCAUSE Theme Article – Wendell Brase, Mark Askren, December, 2008

Significant Developments
• NACUBO and EDUCAUSE collaboration on possible 09 event -- how IT sustainability can lower costs.
• Collaboration with HEASC, Higher Education Sustainability Consortium - sharing resources
• Collaboration with COSN, Consortium of State Networks – sharing resources

ZeroFootprint Carbon reduction services for universities

We Help Universities
Zerofootprint Universities is an online application that can help mobilize and empower your university community to take action on climate change. The web-based calculator and social networking application gives students, faculty, staff, alumni and offsite learners the ability to measure, track and manage their individual carbon footprint, and to collaborate with other members of the university to achieve environmental goals.
You can aggregate the carbon footprints of your community by segment or across the entire university population. The application will measure carbon reductions that result from changes your community makes, and you can attribute these reductions to your university, and publish and celebrate them. Your university can also use the data gathered by the application to inform and support other climate change initiatives on the campus. In addition, Zerofootprint Universities supports competitions and challenges between individuals, departments or other groups, as well as with other universities who are using the application. The application also links to a marketplace of green products and services, as well as events and news.
Universities, especially when acting together, are like countries without borders, and the aggregated actions of their communities can make a significant contribution to a greener world. Knowing they are part of a larger effort gives university members a sense of empowerment to bring about positive change.
Zerofootprint Universities features
• University members can each calculate their own carbon footprint and track it through time.
• University members can see their footprint relative to others.
• Your university can link the “Tips” in the calculator to other current environmental initiatives.
• Your university and/or its members can set footprint reduction goals.
• University members can see the impact of achieving goals on their footprint.
• University members can pledge and commit to taking certain actions to meet goals.
• University members can see and link to others who are also using the calculator, and create or join groups around goals.
• University members can also use Zerofootprint’s One Minute Calculator for a quick measure of their footprint.
• The application links to a marketplace of green products services, events and news
Zerofootprint Universities customization
You can customize Zerofootprint Universities to your requirements. We co-brand the application, and link it to your website, with your university’s logo appearing on all pages. You can tailor the questions in the carbon footprint calculator to suit your community, and we program in the appropriate emissions factors for your location which will be used for all the calculations. You can adapt the “Community” section of the application to allow challenges between your departments, classes or other groups

GreenHouseGas Institute On-line Training program for IT professionals on Carbon Cost accounting

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The next killer app for the Internet - dematerialization

[I am here at the fantastic Freedom to Connect conference which is well worth watching on webcast ( Many scientists are warning that the planet may be close to a tipping point where we will experience run away global warming (see Andy Revkin’s recent blog from the NYTimes for a summary of several studies on this issue). We simply may not have the luxury time for small incremental adaptations to address the challenge of global climatic disruption. One of the major ways we can reduce our CO2 footprint is through de-materialization where we replace physical products with virtual ones delivered over the Internet. Some studies indicated that we can reduce Co2 emissions by as much as 20% with materialization. I argue that dematerialization can be further amplified through carbon rewards (instead of Carbon taxes) where consumers are rewarded with a variety of virtual products in exchange of reducing their carbon footprint in other walks of their lives. But to take advantage of this opportunity of dematerialization we need open high speed broadband networks everywhere. Hence the importance of conferences such as Freedom to Connect. From a pointer by Tim OReilly on Dave Farber’s list – BSA]

Andy Revkin blog on the planet being at a tipping point

Interesting seybold piece on the environmental impact of publishing:

Have you ever considered what the carbon footprint of a magazine or an eReader is? What about the carbon footprint of your publication? Not everyone cares about carbon footprints or defers to the authority of science on climate change, but when Coke, Pepsi and Apple begin to carbon footprint their products, and Taco-Bell begins to open LEED-certified restaurants with low carbon footprints, it may be time to start.
According to information recently released by Apple, the lifecycle carbon footprint of an iPhone is responsible for the emission of 121 pounds of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions over the course of a three year expected lifetime of use. Over 10 million iPhones have been sold to date. Though it is not a direct comparison, it is interesting to note that Discover magazine estimated that the lifecycle carbon footprint of each copy of its publication is responsible for 2.1 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the same amount produced by twelve 100-watt light bulbs glowing for an hour or a car engine burning 14 ounces of gasoline. Over the next few years it can be expected that the reporting of lifecycle data and the carbon labeling of all products will move from the margins to the mainstream - including the footprinting of print and digital media products. Welcome to the age of low carbon everything.

There are billions of kilowatt hours of electricity embodied in the paper, ink and digital technologies we use each day, and close to a kilogram of CO2 is emitted for each kilowatt, but the energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with print and digital media supply chains have typically been overlooked, misunderstood or underestimated. Those days are drawing to an end. Increasingly major brands like Walmart, Pepsi, Coke, TacoBell and Timberland see carbon footprinting and carbon disclosure as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and grow - even in the face of a global recession.
Before you use one of the many carbon calculators popping on the Web to measure the carbon footprint of whatever medium you use, it's important to realize that the results can vary dramatically - as do their underlying assumptions. Most fail to employ standards. Until now, lots of calculators and "carbon neutral" companies have made promises to help you reduce your footprint. But there's been no single authority or regulatory agency to dictate how carbon usage should be calculated or disclosed. Standards and specifications for carbon footprinting such as ISO 14040, ISO 14064 and PAS 2050 now do exist, and open standards-based Web 2.0 platforms like AMEE are now available that enable accurate carbon footprinting, like-for-like comparisons and large-scale supply chain analysis.

Carbon rewards instead of carbon taxes

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