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Fujitsu Siemens slaps ‘Green IT’ labels on PCs

Computer company Fujitsu Siemens is going to start slapping a big, fat ‘green’ label on all its products that are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Fujitsu Siemens says the ‘Green IT’ label (pictured) will help flag up the green credentials of its computer products for customers.

The new green IT label appears on products manufactured from November 2008 and uses a three-tier system – ranging from one star through to the highest, three-star accolade.

Fujitsu says the three-star label recognises products that exceed current green IT legislation around material, recycling and power consumption.

For example, a three-star business PC must use halogen-free material, its manuals must be made from chlorine-free paper, disassembly must be possible by a single person using commonly available tools, and all plastic components weighing more than 25g must be marked according to the ISO 11469:2000 standard, for easier identification when recycling.

It’s admirable that Fujitsu Siemens is aiming to introduce some transparency around the use of ‘green tags’ for IT products but if every technology company goes down this route it’s not hard to see what a complete mess that’s going to be and how much more confusing it will be for businesses and consumers – just look at the whole row around food labelling as an example.

So why has Fujitsu gone down this route? The company says it couldn’t find a suitable partner “whose criteria were as far-reaching as we were hoping for, and who could create the label in the timeframe we had set ourselves”.

The company says industry partners are welcome to join its programme and adds a caveat that it would be happy to adopt a suitable industry-standard green IT labellling system if one is introduced in the future.

Fujitsu Siemens chief technology officer Dr Joseph Reger said:

“We reviewed and rated all existing eco-labelling systems but found that they were not far-reaching or stringent enough for our needs.”

What this really needs is co-operation across the IT industry to introduce transparent green IT labelling, but Greenbang’s not holding its breath.

1 Comment

  • Richard Barrington
    Posted November 21, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    PC’s are the largest and worst part of ICT’s impact in the environment ( about 4/5ths ) and while it is interesting to see FJS starting to tackle a few of the wider externalities the PC needs a complete makeover. Why plastics and why does FJS offer no commitment to recover all of their own (toxic ) waste? No point in labeling everything if you don’t guarantee recovery and reuse.

    Given that for more than 90% of the time a PC is not in use ( or doing anything productive ) there has to be a better model of computing. The PC needs a real makeover to engineer out the current 2-3 year obsolescence cycle so that the manufactured capital is preserved and enhanced. A model based on shared resources and access on demand to services that will create a more secure and equitable society physical and virtual is possible. Problem is to many vested interests focused on maintaining the status-quo, so happy to “Fiddle round the edges while Rome crashes and burns”.

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