An EcoGeek at CES 2008 – Day 2

Las Vegas is full of strange contradictions. I chuckle to myself every time I pass the little placard by the door that says "Please Conserve Energy – remember to turn off the lights when you leave ". You see, I'm staying at the Luxor, which is topped by a cluster of 39 Xenon lights, putting out 30.2 billion lumens and drawing 273 kilowatts… and all it's doing is pointing straight up into the night sky. It is some consolation that the carbon from my hotel stay is being offset by the Consumer Electronics Association, but not much. To take my mind off all this I rode a driverless electric monorail to the show this morning… over a sea of Hummer limousines and idling taxicabs. Oh well : )

I'm meeting a lot of industry execs who are engaged and excited to be moving their companies towards a greener, more sustainable future. Titles like "Vice President in Charge of Sustainability" and "Director of Environmental Concerns" are common at the panels I've been attending, and these aren't people in the marketing department- they're managing waste streams, improving efficiencies, . What I've been hearing again and again is that this is coming from the consumers – companies are literally embracing green tech and sustainability in order to compete in the marketplace, and are afraid of going out of business if they don't.

We'll have some interviews with industry leaders and government officials up soon, as well as some with the interesting people drawn to the Dell ReGeneration booth, so keep checking back for updates!

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3 thoughts on “An EcoGeek at CES 2008 – Day 2

  1. @Pete: Thanks for participating.

    All donations go toward sustainably managed reforestation projects. In the United States, our non-profit partners plant in Kansas, East Texas and the Lower Mississippi River Valley.

    European donations go toward a sustainably managed reforestation project in Hungary. Canadian donations support a project in Lake Williams, British Columbia. If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to check out our “Plant a Tree for Me” web site

    http://www.dell.com/plantatree.

  2. Good observation Matt.  The contradictions to being Green extend in all directions.  I recently saw an article that the LEED certification for buildings isn’t looking as appealing to companies that are “trying” to be green because they found it can be cheaper to buy carbon credits instead.  As far as I can tell carbon credits are made up and don’t really have a purpose.  How about reduce your impact on your environment(granted LEED was a poor attempt, but never the less an attempt at this).  Why doesn’t every company make recycling mandatory in all of their facilities?…Cost!  In the end a company will spend tens of thousands at a show like CES, or on some other marketing venue, but wants the absolute cheapest route for disposal and business operations.

    Las Vegas is an example of that…they are willing to use 273kws for lights to shine in the sky, but I bet they don’t recycle much.  Last time I was in Vegas I say a lot of incandescent light bulbs running…hmm…are there these wonderful things called LED’s and cCFL’s that are much better for the environment (except for the mercury in the older CFL’s which is now lower in the cCFL’s).

    Oh well…maybe in the future!

  3. Speaking of: Can we get more info on the Dell “Plant a Tree for Me” program? I keep buying desktops, laptops and servers, adding this as an option. I must have planted 500 trees by now. The question is: “Where are these forests?” Anyone?

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