Monday, January 14, 2008

Gadgets turn green -- people hopefully follow

If December is the time for year-in-review features then January is predictions month and Conrad Walters, the Herald's innovation writer, looked into the crystal ball in ICON today and made one prediction that I sincerely hope will come true in 2008:
"Gadgets turn green
Consumers will become not only conscious of the environmental effects of technology but more demanding in what they buy. They will open their wallets most willingly to products that can quantify their green credentials and gain endorsement from independent sources. Dell, which has aggressively promoted its goal of becoming the world's greenest tech company, will have a head start because of its recycling policy, but other companies will try to match them."
I particularly liked Conrad's tongue-in-cheek ending:
"Stainless-steel guarantee: If none of the above come true, the predictions for 2009 will be written by someone else."
In my opinion, green was the issue of 2007, a fact made all the more surprising by the fact it barely registered with most until late 2006 (co-inciding with the perfect storm of Al Gore's visit to Australia, the local release of An Inconvenient Truth and record low dam levels in most of the countries major cities).
Elsewhere, at ZDNet, Alex Serpo looked at the green year that was (and what a year) but missed what is in my view an importance point. I know I'm biased but I think many in the industry would agree Dell's singular leadership on sustainability generally was a major influence during 2007.
I'm no longer privy to Dell's plans of course but was pleased to see the company take the concept it pioneered at Oracle Open World and ramp it up at CES in Las Vegas last week, including guest bloggers on the Dell blog and the launch of Later this month Dell will also officially open the green technology design competition it announced last year -- another step in its goal of become the greenest IT vendor.
Update: The green design competition is now live.