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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 12:55 GMT
Firms helped to make PCs greener
Electronic equipment in shopping trolleys
E-waste is the fastest growing category of rubbish
A service to help businesses reduce the carbon footprint left by PCs and other equipment has been launched.

The Green Advisory Service will help firms improve their environmental profile, hopes IT firm Computacenter.

Its research found that a single PC left on overnight and at weekends racks up an annual electricity bill of 53.

In addition a typical PC left on for 24 hours a day, 220 days of the year, is responsible for up to a tonne of CO2 over a 3-year period.

As well as providing energy consumption data for new products, the service offers advice on recycling PCs and how to configure equipment to make it more energy efficient.

E-waste mountain

"Organisations are increasingly focused on their environmental profile and are beginning to recognise the reputation and cost advantages of a green approach," said Heidi-Lynn Mitchell, product services director for Computacenter.

This is partly thanks to a major European Union directive - The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive (WEEE)

From July 2007, the UK will implement the new law, which is intended to minimise the environmental effects of consumer electrical waste, which is now the fastest growing category of rubbish across Europe.

An estimated 1.5m computers are buried in landfill sites in the UK every year, with electronic equipment responsible for generating around one million tonnes of waste.

As well as encouraging people to recycle computer equipment or dispose of it in a more ethical way - sending PCs to the developing world for instance - the directive puts a burden of responsibility on the makers of electronic equipment.

Manufacturers will be obliged to finance the recycling of their products, with retailers forced to offer a 'take-back' service to customers.

Businesses too need to rethink the way they use equipment.

"Organisations need to consider the lifecycle environmental impacts of their IT investments," said Leigh Worthing, an analyst with research firm IDC.

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