Sorry Kermit, it IS easy being green – at least at CES09

January 11, 2009 in News & Events | Comments (0)


The tech industry hasn’t historically been the most environmentally conscious. From the tons of toxic waste generated from making computers to the stuffing of landfills with cast off bits and bobs (many of which contained chemicals that leached into the ground over time), it’s been a long time coming for the industry to get a clue.
But get a clue it has, and at this year’s CES I was pleased to see that there was not only a specially identified section of companies focused on bringing environmentally conscious products to market, but almost every booth (at least of big companies) that I passed had some green-related focus.
To be clear, though, CES 2009 has miles of exhibit floor space and I cruised through the Sustainable Planet section in about 40 minutes. That may sound like a long time, but considering the sheer magnitude of the convention (even in this year’s reduced size), it’s clear we still have quite a way to go.
Here’s a short list of companies I checked out here at CES09 that trotted out an array of products and programs to address everything from carbon offsetting to recycling to renewable energy:
LGE Electronics featured reduced power consumption products that also had lower CO2 emission.
Green Goods Technology showed products that are great for travel and camping, from hand-cranked to solar powered. I particularly liked the hand cranked massager.
Eco-button offers a rapid off switch for your computer that saves energy, money and C02.
HP, which was one of the original participants of Energy Star when that kicked off showed new products.
Samsung has a pretty extensive program and at CES09 were highlighting their cell phone recycling program.
I’m also putting together a mash-up video that features some of the products. I’ll get that edited and amend this post when that’s done.
But in the spirit of getting this out today, I wanted to share a conversation that I had with Dave Conrad of Nokia. He heads up the company’s environmental activities in North America.
In this interview – which I’m posting in its raw form start to finish – Dave talks about his company’s attention to the topic. Starting with their booth, Nokia was walking the walk and talking the talk. They used carpet made from recycled PET, repurposed furniture that was used in last year’s show. (Nokia wasn’t alone in this, Intel and some other companies did the same.) They also ratched down the lighting for their booth so they would consume less energy and put the kabosh on plastic water bottles at their booth, giving out steel water canteens instead.
They also extended their environmental effort to folks who stopped by the booth, asking people from where they’d flown so that Nokia could offset the carbon emissions of their travel – something that the company does as a matter-of-course for its employees.
From minding the materials they use with which to build their products to ways they help their customers and even employees be mindful of being green, Nokia is one of many major companies at CES09 proving that Kermit the Frog may have been wrong. It *can be* easy to be green.


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