Big Blue Goes Green And A Greener Apple

May 17, 2007
IBM to spend $1B on green technologies; Apple CEO affirms eco-commitment

IBM said this month that it would spend $1 billion per year to increase the energy efficiency and environmental soundness of its technology, as well as to introduce new products and services to do the same for its customers.

The plan, named Big Green, stands to make significant impact at the enterprise level, where IBM estimates that savings of IT energy consumption could equal as much as 42% (saving an estimated 7,439 tons of carbon dioxide) per year.

As part of Big Green, IBM has developed a five-step program consisting of:

  • An initial assessment using software that renders a three-dimensional model of power use
  • Building or renovating existing facilities to make them eco-friendly
  • Virtualizing infrastructures to reduce hardware needs
  • Using power management software
  • Using liquid cooling systems to reduce heat emissions.
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In related news, Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently affirmed his company's commitment to green practices. In an online post, Jobs noted that although Apple leads its competitors, the Cupertino, Calif.-based consumer technology giant had perhaps failed to communicate those gains to the public.

While Jobs listed several toxic materials that Apple has phased, or is phasing out (lead from compumonitors being one example), Jobs received the most praise from several noted environmentalist organizations for promising to phase out the worst chemicals (fire retardants and polyvinyl chloride by 2008. These same organizations also pressed Apple to extend its e-waste return program worldwide.

We plan to bring other environmental issues to the table as well, such as the energy efficiency of the products in our industry," Jobs said. "We are also beginning to explore the overall carbon 'footprint' of our products, and may have some interesting data and issues to share later this year."

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