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This post about Sustainability

Sustainable is the current buzzword being tossed around in the computer technology and networking industries right now. It has more than one meaning but essentially it means that something is being created with a high degree of future-proofness. On the other hand, some people are using it as a way of making their businesses sound more sustainable. They will often say that their business is sustainable when that isnt the case. I think that the term sustainable is over-used and it is very difficult to do a rigorous environmental assessment on a business, but I am going to take a stab at it. The Environmental Impact of Business by Michael Schoenfeld has a great review that I found to be very comprehensive, yet easy to understand. It outlines the environmental impact of a number of different business activities. I will add my comments from some of the industries I specialize in. A business is a commodity, just as any other commodity. When we purchase a car from the dealership, the car dealer has to use resources to generate the car, repair it, transport it to and from the lot to sell it, pay for parts, labor, insurance and other expenses. If we paid less for that car we would have more of them. The more cars we own, the heavier our impact on the environment. A lot of people will be surprised to learn that most computers are a commodity. They may not want to accept it at first because it doesnt always feel the same as other commodities. To determine a business environmental impact, we can look at two areas, the manufacturing of the item itself and then at the transportation of the item after it leaves the manufacturing plant. ManufactureThe first area to look at is the manufacturing process. When we buy a car, it is likely that there are a number of different parts that go into it. The car may have an engine that is made in the factory and then shipped to us. Or, we may have a much smaller engine that is made in our own garage. We would then have to buy the parts to assemble the car. The end result is that the car has fewer resources, less pollution, less wear and tear of the factory, and probably a longer life. TransportationThe second area to look at is the transportation process. The transportation of a car after it leaves the factory is very different than transporting a car after it leaves our garage.

Article about Sustainability