Compliance for Green IT

Compliance for Green IT: A Pocket Guide

Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 72
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  • Book Info
    Compliance for Green IT
    Book Description:

    Rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are leading to a gradual rise in the temperature of the earth. With the signature of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, many countries committed themselves to lowering their emissions of greenhouse gases in order to reduce the speed at which climate change is happening. Many organisations are now responding to the issue of climate change by improving their energy efficiency. Public opinion and customer expectations are also encouraging companies to adopt green initiatives. IT represents an important element of your organisation’s environmental policy, not only as regards carbon emissions but also in terms of waste disposal. This pocket guide is intended to provide company directors and executives with a brief guide to the regulatory requirements that are driven by the Green Agenda. It offers you an overview of the key legislative initiatives and environmental standards, and includes an examination of carbon trading schemes.

    eISBN: 978-1-84928-001-3
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 2-4)
    (pp. 5-6)

    Green IT¹ will be a critical component of organisational IT and compliance strategies from 2009 onwards.

    There is a range of views about what, exactly, ‘Green IT’ actually is. At the heart of the debate² about the environmental role of IT, there is usually an acknowledgement that the world’s information and communications technologies consume a growing amount of power and have a measurably significant carbon footprint.

    Regardless of one’s individual position or the reality of the argument, there are a number of aspects of climate change–such as the outcomes of the G8 meetings, the United Nations Framework Convention on...

    (pp. 7-8)
    (pp. 9-9)
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. 10-11)
    (pp. 12-15)

    The growth of environmentalism has meant that there is, in the world at large, a greater awareness of environmental issues and, increasingly, a social drive to:

    1. increase energy efficiency

    2. increase the proportion of energy generated from sustainable sources

    3. reduce the environmental impact of noxious chemicals.

    The Kyoto Protocol commits participating countries to reducing their CO2emissions. Under the treaty, countries must meet their reduction targets through national regulatory and fiscal measures. The Kyoto Protocol also provides an additional means of meeting their targets by way of market-based mechanisms. Carbon trading has grown out of this.

    It is...

    (pp. 16-18)

    The table below provides an overview of the key global legislative and fiscal environmental initiatives.

    The scope of product-related legislation is international, because electronic goods are sold internationally. For example, the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) is a Europeaninitiated directive which also affects the specification for the manufacturing of goods in the US. This is because manufacturers in the US who export goods to the EU must comply with the European RoHS.⁸ There is also a regulation in California which requires RoHS compliance for goods sold within California.⁹

    Envirowise¹⁰ has calculated...

    (pp. 19-21)

    The RoHS Directive will have a far-reaching impact on the manufacture of electronic equipment.

    The RoHS, EU Directive 2002/95/EC, was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union.¹³ It took effect in the UK¹⁴ on 1 July 2006 and is required to be made law and enforced in each EU member state. This directive restricts (see Table 2, below) the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment.

    RoHS applies to companies that manufacture or assemble electrical or electronic equipment within the EU, that import electrical or electronic equipment from outside Europe,...

    (pp. 22-29)

    Organisations have long been subject to the Duty of Care regulations¹⁸ (part of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act), which oblige them to ensure that business waste, including electronic waste, is disposed of in a responsible manner. This obligation includes ensuring that any waste contractor is correctly licensed as they could be held responsible for any of their waste which is fly-tipped. Of course, there may also be security (confidentiality of information and Data Protection Act) considerations relating to waste disposal that may need to be considered.

    Hazardous Waste Regulations¹⁹ are also likely to apply to some electrical equipment including, for...

    (pp. 30-35)

    While carbon trading and cap-and-trade initiatives are a key component of society-wide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (these schemes are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 7), there are still only a small number of statutory schemes.

    The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory cap-and-trade programme in the US for CO2emissions. It is a collaborative initiative between 10 US states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. RGGI was effective from 1 January 2009 and is aimed at reducing the CO2emitted by power plants. It is...

    (pp. 36-45)

    The following table provides an overview of the key global environmental standards, advisory services and government-backed financial incentives.

    ENERGY STAR is an international standard which is used to measure energy-efficient ratings. Products bearing the ‘ENERGY STAR’ label are deemed to be more energy-efficient than those that don’t meet the grade, according to the ENERGY STAR specifications.

    The ENERGY STAR programme was created in 1992 by the US EPA. Agreements to promote ENERGY STAR-qualified products have been made with the European Union,⁴¹ Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan.⁴²

    Devices carrying the ENERGY STAR logo, such as computer products and peripherals,...

    (pp. 46-52)

    Environmental management is a challenge for many organisations and an international standard for effective environmental management has emerged over the last 15 years. Modelled on aspects of ISO9001 (which has now been taken up by nearly one million organisations worldwide), ISO14001 is the best practice standard for the systematic management of an organisation’s environmental impacts.

    ISO14001 is the international specification for an environmental management system (EMS). It is broken down into five sections⁵⁷:

    1. General requirements

    2. Environmental policy

    3. Planning implementation and operation

    4. Checking and corrective action

    5. Management review

    It is relevant to all organisations, in all...

    (pp. 53-70)

    Carbon trading is a somewhat nebulous concept because it refers to the potential for trading an absence of CO₂ emissions. It is also a very new concept and the voluntary carbon trading market is largely unregulated. In addition, although the situation has improved over the last year, there is a dearth of comprehensive information on carbon trading.

    Carbon trading refers to the trading of ‘carbon credits’, or reductions in CO₂ emissions. One carbon credit is the equivalent of the reduction of one tonne of CO₂ emissions. A carbon credit is a metric which is used to measure the value of,...

    (pp. 71-72)