Our Green IT CO2 Calculator clearly shows how the use of used network hardware contributes to environmental protection. Take a look in our shop for a product-by-product breakdown of how much water and CO2 is saved by using refurbished hardware. In our example, we have chosen the well-known
Cisco1921/K9. See for yourself:
Cisco 1921/K9 – Refurbished
When we speak of Green IT, we mean hardware that has been professionally refurbished. This principle is particularly easy on the environment as product lifecycles are lengthened, thus rendering the procurement of a new device unnecessary, and consequently saving on expensive and environmentally-harmful resources.
If one considers the lifecycle of an IT device, which in most cases will be produced in the Far East, one will notice that most resources are consumed in its manufacture and transport. For example, with an average business router or switch, 60-65% of the water and CO2 consumed is needed just for the manufacturing process and transport to Europe or the USA.
The smaller share of the resources used is consumed during actual use of the hardware. As a rule, IT hardware is only used for a few years before it is taken out of service and disposed of. However, these devices are rarely defective.
Instead of taking it out of service and disposing of it, hardware could be put back into circulation. Consequently no raw material is required for production and there is no need to transport a new device.
Calculation of water abstraction and CO2e emissions.
The term water abstraction describes the volume of water taken from a source such as a lake or river. A part of this volume is often returned to its source, making it available again for future use.
Water consumption, on the other hand, describes the quantity of abstracted water that is not returned to its original source.
The amount of emissions saved by purchasing a refurbished device rather than a new one is stated in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). Various greenhouse gases are produced during the production of network hardware. In order to be able to compare their impact better, they are converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in terms of their greenhouse effect. Methane (CH4), for example, is 25 times as potent as CO2; 1 kg of methane therefore equals 25 CO2e.
The effect of the CO2 saved is like planting new trees. Plant-for-the-Planet calculates 10 kg of CO2 per tree per year. The Green IT Calculator shows you how many trees would have to be planted to save the same amount of CO2.
The Green IT Calculator is based on data from the EIO-LCA (Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment) method devised by the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
There are a large number of methods for calculating environmental impact such as CO2 emission, which results from the manufacture of a wide variety of products. We opted for the EIO-LCA model devised by the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University as the basis for the Green IT Calculator. The EIO-LCA method has the advantage that it not only considers the impact of a product at the final assembly facility but also the impact of goods and activities that are necessary for the manufacture of the end-product. These include the mining of metals and the production of plastic as well as the transport of these materials, product design, testing and much more.
A series of assumptions were defined when creating the EIO-LCA model. These are documented in great detail on the eiolca.net website. The website also points out that there is some uncertainty regarding the data on which the model is based and the way in which this data has been aggregated. All of these points are described in detail on the EIO-LCA website.
Furthermore, when creating the Green IT Calculator, assumptions were defined regarding the transport of goods and the refurbishment process. These are described below. As there is no separate sector for network equipment, the Purchaser Price Model USA for Sector #33411A (Computer terminals and other computer peripheral equipment) was used to calculate the emissions and water abstraction of all devices. Moreover, most devices sold by Green IT Solution GmbH are manufactured in China and not in the USA. We should therefore stress once again that the results of the calculator should be regarded as approximate values, whereby the exact emissions of individual devices are influenced by a great many different factors and can vary considerably depending on the specific design as well as the materials and processes used.
|Freight Emission factor (gCO2/ tonne/km)||75,33||http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/specific-co2-emissions-per-tonne-2/term27_2010_figure2.xls/at_download/file|
|Emissions (kg CO2e absorbed by a tree/year)||10||http://www.plant-for-the-planet.org/de/informieren/baeume-sind-genial-2|
|Water withdrawl (average water withdrawl per capita/year in Germany)||1096||http://www.umwelt-im-unterricht.de/hintergrund/wasserbedarf-und-wasserfussabdruck/|
Gregor Hintler lives in Silicon Valley and is an expert for innovation in the field of renewable energies. He is currently working as Director for Product USA at The Mobility House. He was previously NRG Energy’s senior analyst in the strategy field. Before that he was with the Meister Consultants Group (MCG), where he supported governments, international organisations and companies in identifying market trends and implementing instruments aimed at fostering the growth of clean technologies.
In his work for clients in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Hintler has also created technical and economic models for the analysis of various renewable energy technologies and energy storage systems as well as carrying out analyses on the subject of greenhouse gases.
Before his time at MCG, Gregor obtained a master’s degree in Environmental Management at Yale University, where he conducted research into energy policy and technologies for distributed energy generation. Gregor has presented his work at dozens of international conferences and is the author of several book chapters and articles that have appeared in publications such as Brockhaus and NATURE.
Do you have any questions? You can contact Gregor Hintler at firstname.lastname@example.org.