Green tech: tech companies are working on sustainable solutions

Much has been said about how technology improves lives by making it easier for people to perform various tasks such as finding information, working remotely, and staying in touch with each other. However, the energy consumption of our technological habits and its impact on the environment are also cause for concern.

A BBC article titled “Why Your Internet Habits Are Not As Clean As You Think” revealed that every form of online activity – from replying to emails to streaming videos – contributes to a few. grams of carbon dioxide due to the energy required to power devices. and the wireless networks that users access.

As there are now billions of internet users around the world, experts say there is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to avoid a rise in global temperatures that could lead to extreme climate change.

Today, some companies are introducing ways to reduce the burden of our technology consumption on the environment.

In the cloud

The Alibaba Group said in a statement that it had fully migrated all of the company’s systems and operations to the cloud before its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival on November 11, 2021. The company claimed that the use of native technologies of the cloud reduced IT resources by 50% for every 10,000 transactions compared to the previous year.

Alibaba claimed that the use of cloud native technologies reduced IT resources by 50% per 10,000 transactions compared to last year. – Alibaba Cloud

He added that green technologies such as liquid cooling and wind power have been used in its large-scale data centers, which has reduced carbon emissions by more than 26,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbed by one million trees each year.

The company also claimed that its Hanguang 800 AI inference chip was able to improve the performance function of the Taobao market research algorithm by 200%, reducing energy costs by 58%.

Solar energy

In April, Intel Malaysia issued a press release announcing that additional solar panels had been installed at its chip and assembly testing manufacturing plant in Kulim, Kedah, as well as at its campus in Bayan Lepas, Penang.

The 3.2 megawatt (MW) solar installation gives Intel Malaysia a total installed capacity of 4.1 MW, making this project Intel’s largest solar farm outside of the United States. The company estimated that the solar farm’s panels cover an area equivalent to 900 parking spaces and 50,208 square feet on the roofs of buildings, which is expected to generate around 6,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year and partially replace the demand for it. campus electricity during peak hours.

The Intel Chip and Assembly Test Manufacturing Plant's solar facility at Kulim Hi Tech Park is Intel's largest solar farm outside of the United States.  - intel companyThe Intel Chip and Assembly Test Manufacturing Plant’s solar facility at Kulim Hi Tech Park is Intel’s largest solar farm outside of the United States. – intel company

He added that the energy supply from solar sources was helping to introduce renewable energy to the campus, which depended mainly on natural gas and coal sources.

The solar project in Malaysia, which began in 2020, contributes approximately 15% of Intel’s global on-site solar PV power capacity and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 3,800 tonnes.

Participation

Samsung has shared a number of initiatives as part of its commitment to sustainability. The South Korean company has claimed that its Exynos mobile processors, which are designed to support CPU, graphics and camera functions as well as 5G and AI functionality on a smartphone, are created for lower power consumption.

The company claimed that its Exynos mobile processor is designed for low power consumption.  - SamsungThe company claimed that its Exynos mobile processor is designed for low power consumption. – Samsung

The tech giant explained on its website that consolidating more functions on a small chip on a smartphone uses less power, reducing the number of times the device’s battery needs to be recharged – a step crucial to reducing carbon emissions.

In November, the company also announced that five of its memory products had received the “Reducing CO2” label from the Carbon Trust, an independent partner and expert of organizations that advises companies on sustainable development and low carbon initiatives. carbon.

He explained that the label certifies that a product’s carbon emissions have been reduced and that the company has been able to do so using less electricity as well as fewer raw materials per chip during production. For example, the packaging of his T7 portable SSD used paper instead of plastic.

Samsung estimated that the volume of reduced carbon emissions from the five products, in July 2021, was 680,000 metric tons of CO2, or 11.3 million urban tree seedlings grown for ten years or the greenhouse gas. greenhouse emissions from 149,000 cars driven for one year. .

Conscious decision

Microsoft is committed to becoming “carbon negative” – ​​that is, removing more carbon than it emits – by 2030.

To this end, the company in its Environmental sustainability report 2020 said it aims to eliminate dependence on diesel fuel in its data centers by 2030, adding that it will switch to low-carbon back-up power systems, including battery storage and a low carbon fuel like hydrogen. It also plans to switch to 100% renewable energy in its data centers, buildings and campuses around the world by 2025.

The company has also introduced digital tools such as its sustainability calculator to help customers get better insight into their carbon emissions from using the cloud. The tool uses AI and analytics to show reduction trends over time.

Maria D. Ervin