News Archive 2008

News Archive 2008
November 24, 2008

The world's first biodegradable computer

The iameco computer is built from biodegradable wood panels manufactured from waste products from the lumber and pulp industry. The inventors of iameco - MicroPro Computers Ltd - explained to the Irish Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Jimmy Devins TD, how they can implant the seeds of native-tree species into these wood panels - when he visited the company to announce details of a new Enterprise Ireland Green Technology Support for business.
"Our business is built around green technologies and using them to produce healthier, more energy-efficient and cheaper computers that have less impact on the environment" - said Paul Maher, managing director of MicroPro. The iameco computer uses one-third less energy than regular computers, while the biodegradable wood can also be used to manufacture the computer monitor casing, keyboard and mouse. The minister was on a visit to MicroPro Computers in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, to learn how the Irish-owned company has used Enterprise Ireland support to produce the world's first eco-computer.
Commenting on the success of iameco, Minister Devins said - "The iameco computer story is a true example of innovation at work. Green technologies offer many opportunities to companies to innovate and save money."
The case of the iameco computer and MicroPro was featured already in 2005 in the EcoDesign Awareness Campaign as one of the outstanding SME business cases in Europe.
Information on Enterprise Ireland's Green Technology Support

October 29, 2008

Carbon Footprint Standard published by BSI

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are often viewed at global, national, corporate or organizational levels, however emissions within these groupings can arise from supply chains within business, between businesses, and between nations. The GHG emissions associated with goods and services reflect the impact of processes, materials and decisions occurring throughout the life cycle of goods and services.
Sponsored by Defra and the Carbon Trust, Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2050 has been developed in response to broad community and industry desire for a consistent method for assessing the life cycle GHG emissions of goods and services. PAS 2050 builds on existing methods established through BS EN ISO 14040 and BS EN ISO 14044 by specifying requirements for the assessment of the life cycle GHG emissions of products.

October 17, 2008

Latest EuP measure will drastically improve the energy performance of external power supplies

With the energy efficiency standards approved today, the electricity losses related to external power supplies will be reduced in the EU by 9 TWh, that is approximately 30%, by 2020, compared to a "business as usual" scenario. The savings are equal to Lithuania's yearly electricity consumption and would lead to approximately 3.2 Mt CO2 emission savings per year. Further savings are expected in other parts of the world as well as an indirect impact of this measure, since external power supplies are sold and used worldwide.
This approach allows manufacturers to adapt their products to the new requirements in time. The regulation builds on the results of an in-depth analysis of the technical, economic and environmental aspects of external power supplies that was carried out together with stakeholders and experts from around the world.
The regulation will now be scrutinised by the European Parliament. It is scheduled for formal adoption by the Commission in the beginning of 2009. Eco-design measures on other product groups will follow in the coming months.

October 13, 2008

Semiconductor distributor launches Best Accessible Technology certification

With the "Best Accessible Technology" certificate, BAT for short, EBV Elektronik, one of the leading specialists in semiconductor distribution, is drawing attention to particularly energy-efficient products in its portfolio. The Best Accessible Technology certification intends to provide customers with a tool that gives clear guidance with regard to energy efficiency. EBV's approach is to ensure that promoted products comply not only with the customer's technical requirements but also, where possible, to the most advanced level of development for energy efficiency.
Products and their certification are selected on the basis of individual and critical assessment and are subject to strict criteria. For example, every product must display a minimum fixed characteristics to be certified by EBV as a 'Best Accessible Technology' product with regard to energy efficiency.

September 4, 2008

How central authorities can support ecodesign

Eco-design presents an integrated approach to develop products with as small environmental footprint as possible taking a life-cycle perspective. However, still, the vast majority of manufacturing companies do not use eco-design, or at least they do not use it in their marketing. Taking a company perspective, a recent report by Nordic Cooperation tries to understand why. Its ambition has been to identify and explain the incentives companies have for implementing eco-design practices in their product development. Ultimately, the report is trying to answer the question on how authorities can use these incentives to better support eco-design.

August 5, 2008

Condemned to success, haunted by its consequences!

The electronics industry is condemned to success. Climate change and soaring energy, material and food prices remind us on the material limitation of the planet. The world will have to make full use of the most advanced technologies, and the electronics industry has successfully contributed to increased resource and energy efficiency.
It?s success has made the electronics industry part of the problem as well as it is simultaneously key to the solution. Standby- and offmode losses of ever more electronic devices, the use of scarce metals in mass-produced electronic products are examples of how electronics increases the burden on the environment.
Internationally, environmental legislation drives industry towards environmental optimization and more sustainable business practices.
However, beyond legislation, it will require all our social and technological abilities to master the global challenges. We need technological development for sustainable development. We must strive for the most efficient and the least toxic. The more functional must have priority over just more functionalities.
We have to merge technology and sustainable development. The Electronics Goes Green 2008+ is the place to discuss what is necessary, what is possible, what others do and what you can do.
The Electronics Goes Green 2008+ will feature from September 8-10 sessions on (inter alia) Energy Efficiency, Carbon Footprint, RoHS & REACH, EuP Compliance, Ecodesign and SME Support.

July 31, 2008

Scope of Ecodesign Directive to be extended: From EuP to ErP

The European Commission proposes with its recently published Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan a major change of the EuP Directive:
The Ecodesign Directive currently only applies to energy-using products. With the objective of enlarging the frame also to other environmentally significant products, its product scope will be extended to cover all energy-related products, maintaining the exception of means of transport, which already is subject to separate policies and legislation for reducing environmental impacts. Energy-related products are those products that have an impact on energy consumption during use. This includes energy-using products and other products such as window frames, whose insulation properties influence the energy required for the heating and cooling of buildings, and water-using devices, whose water consumption influences the energy required for heating.

July 8, 2008

Goodbye Standby?

During yesterday's meeting of the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee, EU Member States endorsed the Commission's proposal for a regulation reducing standby energy consumption of household and office products. The regulation lays down energy efficiency requirements for all products sold in Europe, thus cutting the EU's standby electricity consumption by almost 75% by 2020.
The "standby" regulation applies to all electric devices used in households and offices, such as TVs, computers, microwave ovens, etc. Depending on the functionality of the product it sets a maximum allowed power consumption for standby of either 1 or 2 Watts for the year 2010. As of 2013 the admissible power consumption level will be lowered to 0.5 Watt or 1 Watt, which is close to the levels that can be achieved with the best available technology.
The regulation will reduce today's standby electricity consumption in the EU - approx. 50 TWh per year - by 73% by 2020. These savings are equal to Denmark's yearly electricity consumption and would lead to approximately 14 Mt CO2 emission savings per year. Further savings are expected in other parts of the world as well, since many of the targeted products are sold worldwide. The staged approach allows manufacturers to adapt their products to the new requirements in time. The regulation builds on the results of an in-depth analysis, e.g. the EuP Preparatory Study of Fraunhofer IZM and partners, of the technical, economic and environmental aspects of standby, which was carried out together with stakeholders and experts from around the world.
The standby regulation will now be scrutinised by the European Parliament. It is scheduled for formal adoption by the Commission within 2008. Eco-design measures on other product groups will follow in the coming months.

May 13, 2008

Commission casts ICT in green role

As part of its effort to combat climate change, the European Commission today announced that it would promote the use of ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) to improve energy efficiency throughout the economy, starting with buildings, lighting and the power grid (Commission Communication).
"To meet Europe's energy efficiency goals by 2020, we need a high growth, low carbon economy. Research and rapid take-up of innovative energy efficient ICT solutions will be crucial to lowering emissions across the whole economy," said Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "There is a win-win situation in which ICT will promote the competitiveness of EU industry while leading the fight against climate change."

April 30, 2008

Energy Efficiency among the Top ICT Purchase Criteria for German Consumers

The German ICT association BITKOM published a survey, which unveiled the dominating purchase criteria to consumers when buying ICT equipment. According to this survey 41% care for energy efficiency, 29% for environmental criteria - obviously a certain number of customers does not consider energy efficiency as an environmental topic. Surprisingly, energy efficiency as criterion ranks similar to performance (44%). Ease of use ranks highest among the purchase criteria (58%). The survey by Forsa does not answer the question, to which extend the importance of the criteria actually has an impact on real purchasing decisions. Given for example the lack of transparancy and missing labelling of energy consumption, except e.g. marking with the Energy Star label, educated choice is hindered. However, energy efficiency and Green IT currently ranks high on the agenda of BITKOM, also demonstrated by the industry's activities at the CeBIT last month, where Green IT has been one of the key trends. Green sells in the high-tech arena.

April 21, 2008

Breakthrough for Eco-innovations on the Agenda

Eco-innovation is at the heart of the Europen Commission's Environmental Technologies Action Plan that helps bridge the gap between research & development and the market place for eco-friendly products, technologies, services, processes and management methods across Europe. Within the framework of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, Eco-innovation supports the first application and further market uptake of some of the best eco-innovative products and services in Europe, and helps overcome those critical barriers that still hamper their commercial success.
Deadline for submissions under the current call is September 11, 2008.