ASSESSMENT TASKS
ICTSUS601 Integrate sustainability in ICT planning and design projects
Assessment Summary
Read all the instructions below before attempting the assessment task. Assessment tasks are tools used to determine if you have the knowledge and skills to complete tasks to industry standards within the workplace. Your trainer/assessor will help you throughout this task and it is your responsibility to provide enough evidence to justify a competent decision by the trainer/assessor. If you do not understand the questions or what is required, ask your trainer/assessor for assistance. For group assessments, all students are to contribute to the assessment tasks. You are allowed to work in groups up to a maximum of four people. You are to complete all tasks by the due date and assessments must have a coversheet attached. If you think you do not have enough time to complete the tasks by the due date, discuss with the trainer/assessor the reasons of why you cannot submit on time.
Writing your responses
When answering questions, ensure that your answers are detailed enough to so the assessor can draw a conclusion that you have the knowledge and/or skills to demonstrate competency. Handwritten answers must be written in blue or black pen. When producing reports, ensure that your project has a title page, table of contents, page numbers, reference list, ensuring that your answers thoroughly match the questions asked. Answer all questions in your own words to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is copying someone else’s work or ideas and saying that it your own work. Sources of work must be properly referenced, outlining the source of your ideas. Penalties may include having to resubmit the assessment task again, repeating the Unit of competency, or for repeat plagiarism, expulsion from Abbey Business College.
Marking of Assessments
On submission of your assessment will be marked for a result of either Satisfactory (S) or Not Yet Satisfactory (NYS). If you receive a NYS result, you will be asked to redo the tasks again. To achieve a competent result with this unit, all tasks need to be completed and marked as satisfactory. Your trainer/assessor will provide feedback to you on each task, outlining where you must improve to achieve a Satisfactory (S) result. When all tasks are marked as Satisfactory (S), you will receive a result of Competent (C) for this unit otherwise, you will be marked Not Yet Competent (NYC). Assessments submitted to the trainer/assessor after the due date may not be accepted, and you may have to a resubmission fee.
Unit of competency application
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to undertake local area network (LAN) switch installation, configuration and testing in field work. It also applies to switching protocols and diagnostics required for integrating new and converging functionalities to the network.
It applies to individuals, employed by telecommunications companies and information communications technology (ICT) networking provisioning companies, who carry out installation, maintenance and upgrade of ICT networks.
Elements
Elements describe the essential outcomes. Performance Criteria
Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.
1. Prepare to integrate sustainability into planning and design stages of ICT project 1.1 Evaluate suitable ICT projects into which sustainability can be integrated
1.2 Negotiate with stakeholders to establish extent to which sustainability is to be integrated
1.3 Research and identify suitable technology solutions applicable to project
1.4 Gather power consumption data on ICT equipment required for energy audit based on agreed standard
2. Devise strategies for incorporating sustainability into ICT project
2.1 Determine and oversee implementation of short-term technology solutions to achieve reduction of power consumption
2.2 Initiate and progress sustainable management principles that result in reduced environmental impact
2.3 Establish, regularly review and improve key performance indicators (KPI) on sustainability performance
2.4 Incorporate innovative planning and design rules for ICT projects that foster sustainability and environmental best practice
3. Analyse energy audit data
3.1 Identify energy usage within scope of ICT project and provide detailed report
3.2 Estimate potential energy savings and payback periods for recommended actions
3.3 Estimate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for nominated project
3.4 Evaluate estimated CO2 emissions with comparable benchmarks
3.5 Make recommendations in order of priority and give estimates of implementation costs on integration of sustainability for other ICT projects
Foundation Skills
Skill Performance Criteria Description
Reading 1.4, 2.3 • Gathers, interprets and analyses a range of complex textual information from a range of sources and identifies relevant and key information
Writing 1.2, 3.1, 3.5 • Records technical requirements and procedures for diverse audiences using precise language and specialised terminology to convey an understanding of outcomes and alternatives
Oral Communication 1.1, 1.2 • Clearly articulates and validates policy and strategy benefits for project requirements using specific language suitable for different audiences to convey requirements
• Uses listening and questioning techniques to confirm understanding
• Effectively negotiates contracts with suppliers
Numeracy 2.3, 3.1-3.5 • Uses complex mathematical formulae to estimate CO2 emissions, analyse and confirm capacity requirements and plan budgetary and workforce needs
Get the work done 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1-3.3, 3.5 • Develops plans to manage relatively complex, non-routine tasks with an awareness of how they may contribute to longer term operational and strategic goals
• Takes responsibility for own workload, negotiating some key aspects with others
• Systematically gathers and analyses all relevant information and evaluates options to make informed decisions
• Reflects on the ways in which digital systems and tools are used or could be used to achieve work goals, and recognises strategic and operational applications
• Uses analytical processes to decide on a course of action, establishing criteria for deciding between options
Performance Evidence
Evidence of the ability to:
• plan and integrate sustainability into information and communications technology (ICT) projects by devising strategies to conserve resources
• analyse energy audit data on enterprise resource consumption
• develop and monitor policies for review and improvements, benchmarking against industry best practice and attempting new approaches continuously over time.
Knowledge Evidence
To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, the individual must:
• discuss best practice approaches relevant to own work area
• explain environmental or sustainability legislation, regulations and codes of practice applicable to the industry and organisation
• discuss and explain work health and safety (WHS) implications for new policy
• explain how to estimate CO2 emissions
• summarise ICT power consumption calculations
• discuss policy development processes and practices
• summarise power consumption audit methodology
• identify principles, practices and available tools and techniques of sustainability management relevant to the telecommunications industry
• describe quality assurance systems relevant to own organisation
• summarise systems and procedures to aid in the achievement of workplace sustainability.

Assessment 1 – Knowledge Assessment (Written Tasks)
1.1 As an individual working in the ICT sector, you have been asked to become a member of your organisation’s newly formed business unit ‘Green Team’. This team is responsible for helping to introduce best sustainability practices into your workplace. In return for your commitment you will receive resource efficiency training. Once trained, describe what you will be expected to do.

1.2 A business realises that it does not have a formal process in place to identify changes to environmental / sustainability legislation and standards. Explain environmental or sustainability legislation, regulations, and codes of practice applicable to the industry and organisation? What sources can it use to locate new information about such changes and how should identified changes be communicated to its employees?

1.3 Introducing sustainability initiatives into a workplace may have unintended consequences that affect Workplace Health and Safety. Explain, with examples, why WHS should be considered when introducing new sustainability initiatives.

1.4 Explain the steps required to calculate an ICT carbon footprint for a department with example.

1.5 A server runs 24 hours a day. Assume the device uses 2,100 watts per hour and electricity currently costs $0.35 per KWh. Calculate the average monthly power cost of running the server. Show your calculations.
What do you mean by energy payback Analysis and Life cycle Analysis? You are using a desktop computer which consumes 450W power. As a part of sustainable practice and contribution you have taken a plan to buy a new light weight thin laptop valued $ 900 which will consume 45W power. If you do so, Govt. will provide 30% incentives on your purchased price. Calculate Annual savings and Payback period for such change. Remember a company Green Future may recycle your old desktop free and give you $50 Cash gift. Additionally, analyse your findings.

1.6 Why is it recommended that sustainability policy development is done using a continuous, iterative approach?

1.7 How would an energy auditor conduct an audit which satisfied the requirements of AS/NZ 3598?

1.8 Sustainability practitioners work with energy efficiency, supply chain behaviour, reduced waste, and a strong focus on reputation management. The quality assurance practitioners aim to create lean operations, reduce waste, and improve efficiency. Discuss the commonality between the two systems.

Assessment 1 – Observation Checklist
Did the Student satisfactorily answer the following questions with sufficient evidence where required? S NS
1.1 Discussed sustainability best practice approaches relevant to own work area
1.2 Explain environmental or sustainability legislation, regulations, and codes of practice applicable to the industry and organisation? What sources can it use to locate new information about such changes and how should identified changes be communicated to its employees?
1.3 Explain, with examples, why WHS should be considered when introducing new sustainability initiatives.
1.4 Explain the steps required to calculate an ICT carbon footprint for a department with example.
1.5 Calculated the average monthly power cost of the running server with details calculations. Calculated Annual savings and Payback period for given situation with all parameter consideration.
1.6 Why is it recommended that sustainability policy development is done using a continuous, iterative approach?
1.7 How would an energy auditor conduct an audit which satisfied the requirements of AS/NZ 3598?
1.8 Discussed the commonality between the Sustainability and quality assurance relevant to own organisation.

Assessment 2 – Performance Assessment (Skills)
Requirements
Read the case study carefully then prepare a report (As a part of your report writing ground work you need to complete following tasks and in your report you need to include all the following tasks response with compulsory report cover page and index page).You may assume any information that has not been mentioned in the case study, however any assumptions you make must be clearly identified as assumptions.
Case Study: SEDM
Australia is enforcing all Australian companies to be compliant in energy consumption and sustainable workplaces.
Refer to https://ift.tt/3BBWSRs and http://envlaw.com.au/
And ‘National Action Plan.pdf’ from your resource folder.
You are an IT project manager at South East Design and Marketing Pty ltd. (SEDM), and your new project is to lead a small team to ensure that SEDM is fully digitized and online in accordance with the newly proposed sustainability regulations from the Australian Federal government.
Your supervisor, IT director of SEDM, is keen to learn what improvements you can make for SEDM under what resources. He will directly report your work to the CEO of SEDM for immediate action.
These are some details about SEDM:
1. There are approximately 500 computers in 4- storey building.
2. There are 20 digital designers in Sydney office and 50 designers in Brisbane office.
3. There are 50 marketing professionals in Sydney office with only 2 in Brisbane office.
4. The computers are not turned off or in sleep mode during the night-time
5. The building is equipped with approximately 200 lights
6. The building is equipped with 2 microwaves and fridges in each floor.
7. The building is equipped with centralized heating and air-conditioning (harder to measure the energy consumption)
8. Operating system and application software were installed on ad hoc manner
9. Desktops or servers are not virtualized
10. Printers are heavily used for colour printing and all business documents
11. Lights are on at night-time for cleaners
Refer to the available sustainability projects in Appendix 1 and the case scenario, you are going submit a full report for SEDM on their project to improve sustainability.
Tasks:
Plan and Integrate Sustainability to ICT Projects
2.1 Evaluate suitable ICT projects into which sustainability can be integrated
a) Evaluate available ICT projects (from the Appendix 1 and other resources) to identify suitable sustainability projects for SEDM.
b) Evaluate the option of computer virtualization or cloud computing for SEDM.
c) Evaluate the use of online collaborating platforms to replace printing (e.g. GitHub or Dropbox) in view of sustainability management.
2.2 Negotiate with the stakeholders to establish the extent to which sustainability is to be integrated.
a) Evaluate the impacts of using cloud computing for SEDM. What operational changes are you expecting?
b) Consider your college as a side-example. What college operations can be offloaded to the cloud computing?
c) Identify which elements of the business cannot be offloaded to cloud computing or virtual computing.
2.3 Research and identify suitable technology solutions applicable to the project.
a) Identify the available technological solutions to implement your selected sustainability project (e.g. for online file sharing, Dropbox, GitHub, draw.io or Creately.com)
b) Identify the available solutions the sustainability of SEDM. Consider green computers and reduction of energy-consuming devices (using environmentally friendly lights and other electronic devices) – Refer to Appendix 1.
c) Identify the price, cost and availability of the selected technology solution(s). Provide an executive summary only for senior management in less than 300 words.
2.4 Gather power consumption data on ICT equipment required for an energy audit based on an agreed standard.
a) Calculate the energy consumption estimate based on the number of computers, servers, printers, and other energy-consuming devices.
You may refer to online calculator such as
https://ift.tt/30ljqbB
https://ift.tt/3FFcG8A and https://ift.tt/3FCFYVf or other available solutions).
Analyse energy audit data
2.5 Establish, regularly review and improve key performance indicators (KPI) on sustainability performance.
a. Review the KPI on sustainability of Optus (2016) from the ‘Resource Folder’. Summarize their KPI in short sentences.
b. Devise a set of KPI for SEDM in less than 300 words.
Develop and monitor policies:
2.6 Incorporate innovative planning and design rules for ICT projects which foster sustainability and environmental best practice.
a. Investigate and summarize the best-case examples and best procurement practices on ICT sustainability from www.greenit.net and other resources available on ‘Resource Folder’.
b. Investigate the opportunities of virtualizing the computers and servers to save the energy consumption (note one physical server can handle more than several virtualized desktop instances)
Assessment 2 – Observation Checklist
Did the Student satisfactorily answer the following questions with sufficient evidence where required inside the report? S NS
2.1 Evaluate suitable ICT projects into which sustainability can be integrated.
a) Evaluate available ICT projects (from the Appendix 1 and other resources) to identify suitable sustainability projects for SEDM.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student will research on Appendix 1 and other resource and discuss suitable points.
b) Evaluate the option of computer virtualization or cloud computing for SEDM.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student should evaluate and include points with proper justification.
c) Evaluate the use of online collaborating platforms to replace printing (e.g., GitHub or Dropbox) in view of sustainability management.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student should evaluate and include points with proper justification.
2.2 Negotiate with the stakeholders to establish the extent to which sustainability is to be integrated
a) Evaluate the impacts of using cloud computing for SEDM. What operational changes are you expecting?
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student should provide operational changes required to adopt cloud computing for SEDM.
b) Consider your college as a side-example. What college operations can be offloaded to the cloud computing?
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student could discuss challenges for their college situation to transform to cloud computing.
c) Identify which elements of the business cannot be offloaded to cloud computing or virtual computing.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student could discuss about few business elements that cannot transform to cloud computing.
2.3 Research and identify suitable technology solutions applicable to the project.
a) Identify the available technological solutions to implement your selected sustainability project (e.g., for online file sharing, Dropbox, GitHub, draw.io or Creately.com)
Identify the available solutions the sustainability of SEDM. Consider green computers and reduction of energy-consuming devices (using environmentally friendly lights and other electronic devices) – Refer to Appendix 1.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student should provide proper research and identification for suitable technology for SEDM.
b) Identify the price, cost, and availability of the selected technology solution(s). Provide an executive summary only for senior management in less than 300 words.
2.4 Gather power consumption data on ICT equipment required for an energy audit based on an agreed standard.
a) Calculate the energy consumption estimate based on the number of computers, servers, printers, and other energy-consuming devices.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student should provide proper calculation using provided calculator with reference.
2.5 Establish, regularly review and improve key performance indicators (KPI) on sustainability performance.
a) Review the KPI on sustainability of Optus (2016) from the ‘Resource Folder’. Summarize their KPI in short sentences.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student will research on Optus (2016) data and summarize their KPI with proper reference.
b) Devise a set of KPI for SEDM in less than 300 words.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student will devise suitable of KPIs for SEDM.
2.6 Incorporate innovative planning and design rules for ICT projects which foster sustainability and environmental best practice.
a) Investigate and summarize the best-case examples and best procurement practices on ICT sustainability from www.greenit.net and other resources available on ‘Resource Folder’.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student will summarize the best-case examples and best procurement practices on ICT sustainability.
b) Investigate the opportunities of virtualizing the computers and servers to save the energy consumption (note one physical server can handle more than several virtualized desktop instances)
Minimum requirements for this:
• Student will Investigate the opportunities of virtualizing the computers and servers to save the energy consumption for SEDM.

Assessment 4 – Presentation
Introduction
Presentation is the process of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience. It is often used to assess student learning in individual or group research projects.
Presentation assessment consists of a topic for the student to research, discuss and present, followed by a question and answer session between a tutor and the presenter(s). This measures the ability of students to respond, think under pressure and manage discussion. It is in this part of the presentation that the student shows his/her in-depth knowledge of the topic and presentation skills.
A good presentation is generally expected to consist of:
• Introduction/ Aims/Objectives
• Major points and ideas explained and summarised
• Results/Related points/Issues/or others depending on the topic
• Conclusion – future work
• The presentation should be presented in the time allowed
2.1 Determine and oversee implementation of short-term technology solutions to achieve reduction of power consumption.
Students are to discuss their selected sustainability project with the class and make a 10 -minutes presentation on their plans.
Consider some or all of the following:
• Online platforms to reduce paper usage
• Virtualization of servers/desktops
• Environmentally friendly light (bulb) or types
• Environmentally friendly computer monitors and TV screens
• Environmentally friendly refrigerators
• Other electrical devices that can be updated/upgraded for sustainability
2.2 The project presentation must include information on how to Initiate and progress sustainable management principles which result in reduced environmental impact. ( Additional 5 -minutes)
Assessment 4 – Criteria
Criteria Excellent Proficient Average
4.1 Presentation Content:
Relates to topic, detailed, and accurate All content directly related to the topic. Opinions were always supported by fact if possible. Content directly related to the topic. Almost all opinions were supported by facts. Demonstrated basic understanding of the topic. Many opinions were not supported by facts.
4.2 Subject Knowledge:
Demonstrate knowledge of subject Showed a thorough knowledge of the topic. Able to use assessor questions to further demonstrate understanding of the topic. Showed a working knowledge of the topic. Able to satisfactorily answer assessor questions and provided additional information upon request. Showed basic knowledge of the topic. Able to address assessor questions by repeating parts of the presentation – did not provide any additional information.
4.3 Audience Engagement:
Engage and interact with audience Moderated speaking style based on audience feedback. Calmly and eloquently addressed audience questions and comments. Engaged audience for the duration of the presentation. Adjusted volume, pace, and enthusiasm several times. Answered audience questions and addressed comments. Presenter adjusted enthusiasm or pace to hold audience attention. Spoke more loudly when requested by audience members. Presenter was clearly uncomfortable. Presenter attempted to adjust enthusiasm or pace to hold audience attention
4.4 Presentation Timing:
Length of Presentation Length of Q&A
Perfect timing Adequate Timing Too short or too long
4.5 Presenter Interaction:
Ability to interact with joint presenter Good level of interaction between joint presenters. Roles clearly defined prior to presentation. Reasonable level of interaction between joint presenters. Presentation roles not clear. Poor interaction between presenters. No evidence of roles being defined prior to presentation.
Assessment 4 – Observation Checklist
Observation Criteria S NS
4.1 Determine and oversee implementation of short-term technology solutions to achieve reduction of power consumption.
Minimum requirements for this:
Students are to discuss their selected sustainability project with the class and make a 10 -minutes presentation on their plans. Consider some or all the following:
• Online platforms to reduce paper usage
• Virtualization of servers/desktops
• Environmentally friendly light (bulb) or types
• Environmentally friendly computer monitors and TV screens
• Environmentally friendly refrigerators
• Other electrical devices that can be updated/upgraded for sustainability
4.2 The project presentation must include information on how to Initiate and progress sustainable management principles which result in reduced environmental impact.
Minimum requirements for this:
• Additional 5 -minutes presentation on information on how to Initiate and progress sustainable management principles which result in reduced environmental impact in that presentation
4.3 Presentation content
4.4 Subject knowledge
4.5 Audience engagement/communication
4.6 Presentation timing
4.7 Presenter interaction / roles
Assessment Outcome
? Satisfactory ? Unsatisfactory
Comments:
Trainer’s signature _____________________________ Date ______________________
Student Signature: ______________________________ Date ______________________
What happens if your result is ‘Not Yet Competent’ for one or more assessment tasks?
The assessment process is designed to answer the question “has the participant satisfactorily demonstrated competence yet?” If the answer is “Not yet”, then we work with you to see how we can get there.
In the case that one or more of your assessments has been marked ‘NYC’, your Trainer will provide you with the necessary feedback and guidance, in order for you to resubmit/redo your assessment task(s).
What if you disagree on the assessment outcome?
You can appeal against a decision made in regard to an assessment of your competency. An appeal should only be made if you have been assessed as ‘Not Yet Competent’ against specific competency standards and you feel you have sufficient grounds to believe that you are entitled to be assessed as competent.
You must be able to adequately demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to be able to meet the requirements of the unit you are appealing against the assessment of.
You can request a form to make an appeal and submit it to your Trainer, the Course Coordinator, or an Administration Officer. The RTO will examine the appeal and you will be advised of the outcome within 14 days. Any additional information you wish to provide may be attached to the form.
What if I believe I am already competent before training?
If you believe you already have the knowledge and skills to be able to demonstrate competence in this unit, speak with your Trainer, as you may be able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
Credit Transfer
Credit transfer is recognition for study you have already completed. To receive Credit Transfer, you must be enrolled in the relevant program. Credit Transfer can be granted if you provide the RTO with certified copies of your qualifications, a Statement of Attainment or a Statement of Results along with Credit Transfer Application Form. (For further information please visit Credit Transfer Policy)
ICTSUS601 Integrate sustainability in ICT planning and design projects Assessment Outcome Record
In order to be deemed competent in this unit, the candidate must answer all written questions correctly and satisfactorily complete all practical tasks. In order to complete all practical tasks, all Observation Criteria need to be satisfied, i.e. demonstrated and marked as an 'S'. The task summary outcome must be noted as satisfactory to note the demonstration of a satisfactory outcome for each practical task requirement.
Student Name
• Not Yet Competent
• Competent
Comments
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Assessor Signature
Date
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Unit ICTSUS601 Integrate sustainability in ICT planning and design projects
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Appendix 1: Available sustainability projects
Recycling
Did you know that nearly 10 million tons of material was diverted from landfills last year alone as a result of recycling efforts? This success is largely due to voluntary participation of citizens across the country, who have made -reduce, reuse, and recycle- a personal commitment. Your participation in recycling means fewer one-use products, cleaner water, and cleaner air. But recycling may someday pay off financially too. Many now see waste as a resource, and one that we should not squander by filling up the garbage can instead of the recycling bin. Imagine a future where the garbage man drops off a check for your contributions to going green.
Computer Disposal
Did you know that the average American will own nearly 20 computers in his or her lifetime? This means not only will you purchase 20 computers for your use, but you will also discard at least that number. The disposal of old machines is becoming a great concern to communities across the globe, as many machines contain potentially toxic materials. What can you do to responsibly dispose of old technology? Many states now require manufacturers to recycle old machines, so contact them first. If no opportunity is available through the manufacturer, check with your local recycling centre, or go online to find a reputable recycling company.
Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has two meanings. The most common refers to running workloads remotely over the internet in a commercial provider’s data centre, also known as the “public cloud” model. Popular public cloud offerings—such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Salesforce’s CRM system, and Microsoft Azure—all exemplify this familiar notion of cloud computing. Today, most businesses take a multi-cloud approach, which simply means they use more than one public cloud service.
The second meaning of cloud computing describes how it works: a virtualized pool of resources, from raw compute power to application functionality, available on demand. When customers procure cloud services, the provider fulfills those requests using advanced automation rather than manual provisioning. The key advantage is agility: the ability to apply abstracted compute, storage, and network resources to workloads as needed and tap into an abundance of prebuilt services.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD)
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are set by companies to allow employees to use their personal smartphones, laptops, and tablets for work. A BYOD policy can help set a business up for success—especially a small company—but there are definite downsides to consider. If you're thinking about implementing a BYOD policy, it's a good idea to review some of the pros and cons before making a decision.
Pros
• Savings for the company on purchasing and replacing technology
• No learning curve for employees
• Potential improvement of employee morale
• More up-to-date tech due to personal upgrades
Cons
• More complex IT support for disparate devices and operating systems
• Higher security risks
• Potential loss of employee and company privacy
• Some employees may not have their own devices
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly opening up a new frontier in the fields of business, corporate practices, and governmental policy. The intelligence of machines and robotics with deep learning capabilities have created profound disrupting and enabling impacts on business, governments, and society. They are also influencing the larger trends in global sustainability. As the AI revolution transforms our world, it could herald a utopian future where humanity co-exists harmoniously with machines, or portend a dystopian world filled with conflict, poverty and suffering. More immediately, would AI accelerate our progress on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or bring us further down the path toward greater economic uncertainty, environmental collapse, and social upheaval? What are some of the implications for business leadership and the education of future business leaders?
SPAM
Did you know that spam or unwanted e-mail has an environmental cost? McAfee, a virus and spam filter software provider, estimates that spam e-mail consumes the equivalent energy of over a million cars driving around each year. What can you do to help limit this consumption? Beyond supporting legislation to limit spam and prosecution of those who create spam, you can filter your e-mail. Skipping over spam sent to your account has environmental electrical savings, which means you can feel good about not reading those pesky intrusions in your inbox.
CDs and DVDs
Did you know that CDs and DVDs can take over one million years to degrade in a landfill? The migration of many applications to the Web has had a measurable impact on the environment, as fewer obsolete compact discs end up in landfills. For example, most software developers provide their programs directly over the Web as well as on CDs or DVDs. Until the time that all software is delivered this way, what can you do to limit your environmental footprint? Some companies now offer free recycling for used discs. A quick search on the Web will identify many disc recycling companies. You can also be conscientious about purchasing music and other entertainment discs. If you know you will be playing the discs on your computer or other devices that can access the Web, skip a step and buy directly online over the Web.
Downloading Software
Did you know that downloading software can actually generate energy savings? Microsoft is actively researching the impact of various aspects of computing on the environment. As part of their study, Microsoft compared the impact of downloading music directly to a computer or music player via the Internet versus using a CD. They found that directly downloading music resulted in an 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. What can you do to encourage energy savings like these? Instead of purchasing music or software CDs, download the content from the Internet. You'll be saving trees and keeping delivery trucks off the road.
Green Software
Did you know that software is going green? While utility software used to focus solely on making computing safer and easier, new utility software is focusing on making computers more environmentally friendly. These utility programs track your computer use and your computer's operations. The programs then analyse the data for ways to minimize your computer's energy consumption. The results are then presented, and suggestions made to make your computing greener. Environmental utility programs are expected to quickly become a standard part in all utility suites.
Robots
Did you know that robots may someday help clear our oceans of pollution? Investigators are currently exploring the use of robots and special companion ocean vessels for just that purpose. The robots would roam the ocean bottom looking for garbage, oil, and other pollutants. Once located the robots would either clean up the mess on their own or radio other robots for assistance. When full, the robots would resurface and deposit the offensive materials on the companion vessel and then go back for more. The future of robotics promises many opportunities for this kind of robotic clean-up.
Operating System Efficiency
Did you know that your operating system might just be worried about the environment? The most recent version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, Windows 7, is designed to do more computing with less energy. For example, it has a new power management system that uses fewer system programs that run automatically, dims the screen to minimize energy use, and turns off power to unused ports on your machine. What does all of this mean for the environment? Experts attribute 2 or 3 percent of worldwide energy use to desktop computers in the home. Environmentally aware operating systems can have a significant positive impact on the environment.
Green PCs
Have you given any thought to buying a greener PC? A marketing and manufacturing race is now on to create the greenest computer available to consumers. Some manufacturers are going to great lengths to make computer components from recycled materials and to make computers that are completely recyclable. That would mean that there is no waste and no computer parts that would end up in a landfill. But even this isn't enough for some ambitious technology designers. They hope to create a machine you could plant in the backyard when it reaches the end of its useful life on your desk.
Printing E-mails
Did you know that printing your e-mail instead of reading it on the screen contributes to global warming and clogs our landfills? According to the EPA nearly 40 percent of the waste in American landfills is paper waste, much of it from business printing. What can you do to prevent waste like this? Consider whether you truly need to print that e-mail before clicking the print button. Consider the soft copy, the image on the screen, your ticket to saving paper and the planet.
Printer Cartridges
Did you know that the ingredients in most printer cartridges contain hazardous chemicals? In fact, much of the production of new printer ink and toner has moved to third-world nations as a result of pollution concerns. One approach to minimizing the impact is to recycle printer cartridges. However, some have approached the problem from a completely different direction. What if the ink your printer used was a by-product readily available in your house? At least one manufacturer thinks this is the way of the future. Their new green printer design uses coffee grounds to print your text and images.
Hard Disk Storage
Did you know that hard disk storage requires more energy than solid state storage? Unlike solid state storage which has no moving parts, hard disks have to be rotating in order to save or to retrieve data. Almost all large data centres have thousands of hard drives running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This means that hard drives are tremendous energy consumers. Solid state storage requires only a fraction of the energy requirements to provide comparable storage capacity and access. For this reason, many data centres are switching from traditional hard disk to solid state storage.
GPS Devices
Did you know that GPS devices in cars might help protect the environment? GPS devices are now common in many cars and they can help save fuel by providing drivers with the shortest route to a destination. But newer devices also provide traffic avoidance data, which can really save on carbon emissions. Cars trapped idling in traffic get zero miles to the gallon and pollution from gridlock can affect the air quality for miles around freeways. Networked GPS devices now make it possible to find the cheapest fuel and maximize your fuel economy with the most direct route and least congestion.

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