By Jessica Repa, Marketing Director
Climate Savers Computing Initiative
As the marketing director for Climate Savers Computing, part of my role is to help our executive director, Pat Tiernan, develop strategic alliances to broaden our impact, drive further efficiencies and increase awareness about smart computing practices. One of the priorities for CSCI in 2010 is to develop strategic alliances in geographic regions to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption caused by the use of computers on a global scale. Our regional focus includes EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), India, Japan, Asia Pacific and South America. We currently have member companies in 53 countries around the world. On January 28, 2010, I had the opportunity to present a speech in Brussels, Belgium, during the press briefing for the Euro Green IT Innovation Center, a nonprofit association created to increase awareness about the intersection of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Sustainable Development in the Walloon region in Belgium. Belgium is part of the Benelux region (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and is an important location for Climate Savers Computing and the IT industry overall given its proximity to the heart of the European Union in Brussels.
Climate Savers Computing helped launch the Euro Green IT Innovation Center in a public-private partnership with Jean-Claude Marcourt, the Minister of Economy of the Walloon Region in Belgium, along with Alcatel-Lucent, CISCO, IBM and Microsoft. The Euro Green IT Innovation Center will be based in Mons, Belgium and is expected to open Spring 2010. The Center will be a demonstration and pilot project platform in the field of energy efficiency and will pursue two goals: 1) increase the awareness about energy-saving practices when using computer equipment and 2) create a living lab that facilitates the deployment of pilot projects related to energy-efficient computing and conservation. The strategic alliance will launch an education campaign to reduce the energy consumption of computers and pilot projects to showcase how the use of technology can help drive innovation and energy savings.
During my presentation, I discussed Climate Savers Computing and ICT for Sustainable Development. I sent the audience home with an assignment: Join Climate Savers Computing and follow our recommended smart computing practices. Other speakers included Jacques Platieau, General Manager Benelux, IBM Global Business Services; Pol Vanbiervliet, CEO Cisco Belgium; Jean-Claude Marcourt, Minister of Economy, Walloon Region; Elio Di Rupo, Mayor of Mons, Belgium; Georges Campioli, Managing Director, Agoria Walloon – Trade Federation; and Xavier Lamote, Director of Business & Marketing Microsoft Belux. Watch video coverage of the event (en français) here.
Climate Savers Computing Initiative is proud to be a part of the groundbreaking public-private partnership in the Walloon region in Belgium, an important part of Benelux and EMEA. We will collaborate with political leaders, local and international companies, academic institutions and individuals in the region to develop innovative solutions to energy-efficient computing, from improved PC power sources and computer power management, to data center efficiency. By working with an alliance of stakeholders in Walloon, we hope to have an immediate impact in the region to measurably reduce the energy consumption of computers.
By Jim Lynch, Director, Computer Recycling & Reuse and GreenTech Program
TechSoup Global is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization whose main work is to supply nonprofits, NGOs and libraries worldwide with the computer software, hardware and know-how they need at the lowest possible costs so that they can devote much more of their resources to accomplishing their missions. TechSoup has also been a strong advocate over the years for electronics reuse and recycling.
Our GreenTech initiative builds upon TechSoup.org’s historic work in computer recycling and reuse and expands it to educate social benefit organizations in the benefits of “going green” in terms of their technology use. GreenTech’s mission is to use technology to reduce environmental impact and reduce the environmental impact of technology. We are a proud supporter of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative and in the spirit of CSCI’s work we have just completed an IT energy conservation campaign called Unpower Yourself!
TechSoup GreenTech's Unpower Yourself! campaign ran for three weeks in November and covered three areas of IT energy conservation: setting power management on desktops and laptop computers, server and desktop virtualization, and software-as-a-service or cloud computing. The core of the campaign was a “5 Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes to Reduce Your IT Power Use.”
To enter the contest, people had to fill out a short online survey. We offered three very modest prizes to three winners – an hour of our time to consult on Green IT over the phone, a smart power strip and a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
We had 137 entries and got a very good sense of the actual impacts of our contest. Nearly everyone who entered the contest reported that they are now turning their IT equipment off at night and setting their power management (sleep) settings on their computers. The big surprise was that fully half of those who entered the contest are "deep green" and either spread the word about computer power management or signed up with Climate Savers Computing to join the IT energy conservation movement.
We also asked in the survey if people got some resistance from coworkers in making these changes and most found that they didn't have to overcome much resistance, if any.
Like each of our campaigns we framed this IT energy conservation with some thought provoking statistics such as:
Did you know?
- Electricity generation alone is responsible for 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the US
- According to a Gartner study, IT around the world generates 2 percent of all greenhouse gases, roughly equivalent to all the world's airlines
- The average desktop PC wastes nearly half of the energy it consumes, losing the power as heat
- Letting your computer sleep can save approximately $60 in electricity costs per machine each year
- According to Forrester Research, 55 percent of IT energy consumption comes from outside of the data center
By Dmitry Shesterin
Vice President of Marketing, Faronics
Faronics, a Climate Savers Computing Sponsor Member, will hold a Webinar on PC Power Management led by Forrester Research, Inc. on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, at 1 p.m. EDT.
Doug Washburn, an analyst and industry expert with Forrester Research,
Inc, will host the Webinar and describe the compelling ROI of PC Power
"As organizations expand their green IT strategies beyond the data
center - which may even be more effective since 55% of IT energy
consumption comes from outside of the data center than from inside of
it - Forrester expects enterprise IT organizations to turn to PC power
management software." (TechRadar™ For I&O Professionals: Green IT 1.0
Technologies, Q2 2009, Forrester Research, Inc., June 12, 2009.)
According to Faronics, over 1,000 Faronics Power Save customers have dramatically reduced operating costs by eliminating up to 70 percent of their computer energy consumption. These savings equate to up to $75,000 per year for every 1,000 computers. Power Save keeps computers running when users need them, accurately determines when computers are inactive so they can be powered down, and can prove its rapid return-on-investment through network-wide power consumption and savings reports. ADT, the world's largest electronic security and alarm monitoring company, is on track to save 434,000 kWh per year throughout their UK support operations by deploying Faronics Power Save.
More information about this Webinar can be found at
SIgn up for this free Webinar at http://bit.ly/forresterwebinar
By Candace Labelle
GreenWay Program Director, CSC
IT implementations across the industry have over the past two decades grown exponentially and inefficiently. It was often cheaper to buy a large new server or load up with new hard disks than it was to try and analyze work a server was performing, space it was consuming and the energy it required to function. IT architects used to stipulate that applications and database systems must be installed on individual servers rather than being shared, regardless of the excess capacity.
Today’s new thinking around sustainability, newly available green services and technologies, combined with new pressures around energy and finances, is generating fresh thinking for data center architecture and engineering.
Virtualization technology on desktops and servers helps make IT work harder for our clients. This technology enables computing power to be pooled, allowing many individual severs or desktops to be replaced by a single system. In the case of server virtualization, it is not uncommon to achieve the replacement of fifteen servers with a single server. With desktops, the computing power is pooled into a centralized server. CSC has enabled clients to achieve significant savings in hardware and energy by replacing desktop and PC devices with state-of-the-art thin client virtualized user consoles.
The benefits of virtualization extend beyond the immediate savings in reducing hardware (procurement and disposal) and energy costs of reducing servers and desktops. Not only does it allow for a more streamlined service to be delivered to users, but also supports the centralization of servers, storage and backup devices. Such support systems require their own power and cooling, and the trickle-down effect on the server reductions are seen throughout. Furthermore, a more centralized architecture enables greater maintenance and monitoring, as well as the ability to control energy consumption more closely.
At CSC we assist our clients in achieving virtualization of their systems in many ways. From building business cases through design to deployment, we are able to assist our client in any part of the virtualization life cycle. In addition, CSC offers Virtual Desktop Services that provide an out-of-the-box managed service for end user computing.
By Francois Ajenstat
Director Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft Corporation
When we talk about Green or Sustainability we focus on reducing energy, managing our environmental footprint and rethinking how we work. I’m really excited about some of the new technologies that Microsoft has released that I think will have a big impact on reducing energy use at home and at work – Microsoft Hohm and Windows 7.
Microsoft recently announced a new free online application, Microsoft Hohm to help people better understand their energy usage and learn how they can save money at home. Using advanced analytics licensed from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy, Hohm offers ways to cut costs, ranging from placing new caulking on windows to removing air leaks to installing a programmable thermostat. Recommendations are based on specific circumstances in each home including house features, usage patterns and appliances. And for those that don’t want to share their data, the tool will provide suggestions based on local and national averages.
Another way to save money is to use power management settings, and with the upcoming release of Windows 7 we’re making it even easier for homes and business to implement power management. Windows 7 has a strong focus on reducing the overall power consumption by investing in key areas of the platform including performance optimizations, idle resource utilization, device power management and key end-user scenarios.
Energy efficiency, when the PC is in use AND when it is turned off, has been a guiding principle in the development of Windows 7. The new release incorporates energy efficiency features that enable IT Pros to manage energy consumption by easily deploying a power management policy within their enterprise, such as turning off the display and enabling Sleep after a period of inactivity. Windows 7 also includes new diagnostics, Idle Power Management, Active Power Management and Wake on LAN for Remote Management to help IT professionals identify and resolve PC power management problems in their enterprise. Read the Windows 7 Power Management whitepaper for more information.
I encourage everyone to try out Microsoft Hohm at www.microsoft-hohm.com (currently U.S. only) and take advantage of the power management functionality available on your PCs.
As a guy that works for a manufacturing company, the term “green” takes two paths. The first path covers how we act as a company – our corporate responsibility to the world. The second is a little more important to a company’s shareholders – the actual selling of greener products. Today I’d like to focus on the product side. To paraphrase, if you build greener products, will people buy them?
Everyone seems to be going (or at least thinking) green. But whether people actually buy greener products is another story. Many people think the terms “going green” and “spending more” are synonymous. In fact, the Green Gauge survey conducted by Gfk Roper Consulting showed that 87% of Americans say they are seriously concerned about the environment, and 79% say a company’s environmental practices affect the products they buy. The irony is that three quarters believe that environmentally safer products are too pricey.
I can tell you that the “pricey” label doesn’t usually apply to greener computers. A few manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make even more powerful computers while decreasing power use, limiting harmful chemicals, and recycling . Energy Star-rated computers are a great example. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that and Energy Star-compliant PC will save $103 per year in power. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but multiply it times the millions of computers in use today and you have a real environmental impact. So even if the computer costs $50 more you’re still ahead of the game. A greener high-performance server in a data center can save even more – as much as 30% less power.
When you talk about buying greener computers, you need to look beyond the price; just like the tech men and women do that run the IT department at your work. Most people don’t know how much energy and computing power it takes to run data centers, desktop PCs and monitors, and other technology at the office. A typical 50,000-square-foot data center, for example, gobbles 4 megawatts of power a day —the equivalent of 57 barrels of oil per day. And there are tens of thousands of data centers around the globe. The EPA estimates that data centers and servers account for 1.5% of all the energy used in the United States, and I’ve read reports that it is nearly that same percent worldwide.
The people who manage these data centers look at what is called TCO, or Total Cost of Ownership. TCO includes the entire lifecycle of a computer: purchase price, cost to set up and get running, cost to maintain and upgrade it, and how long it will last. Increasingly, it also includes the environmental policies of the manufacturer and disposal after the useful life of the machine. Think about the last PC you bought and multiply it times 140,000. A company like mine has 120,000 PCs (laptops and desktops), 20,000 servers, data storage devices, network connections, printers, and thousands of monitors. So if companies can save even 10% of their energy, the world as a whole is better off.
So if you were buying a computer – a laptop, desktop or server – what would you look for to know if it was greener than another? Here are a couple ideas:
- Look for the Energy Star label: You can find recommendations on the Electronic Environmental Assessment Tool. Make sure you buy products that get a Gold rating.
- Buy computers with power saver settings: Look for models that have factory-configured energy power settings that let you maximize your power savings. Climate Savers Computing recommends that your monitor/display sleep settings turn off after 15 minutes or less, hard drives/hard disks should sleep after 15 minutes or less, and system standby/sleep should kick in after 30 minutes or less.
- Compare using free online power calculators: There are free calculators out there that allow you to determine which models burn less energy. [Desktops and laptops] [Monitors]
- Check the manufacturer’s policies before you buy: Look for policies that limit the use of chemical and hazardous materials at the company from which you buy: Search manufacturer web sites for terms like “chemical use policy,” “lead,” “fire retardants,” and “sustainability.” And don’t pay attention to what they are going to do…only look at what they have done.
- Check the environmental history of the manufacturer: There are some great sites where you can get news, like Treehugger.com, Regeneration.org, Greenbiz.com, Greenoptions.com, and of course Climate Savers Computing Initiative.
- Look at the packaging: See how much post-consumer content is used in the boxes. And look at the number of boxes (some products come in a lot of different packages, rather than one). Also, see if they limit non-recyclable foam.
- See if they will recycle your old computer: Remember that many PCs and monitors have harmful chemicals, especially lead. Don’t throw them away. Some companies offer free recycling of PCs, monitors and ink cartridges (others charge for this) and makes donations to the National Cristina Foundation (NCF) to help disabled and economically disadvantaged children and adults receive the gift of technology.
- When you buy, offset the carbon emissions: My two favorite groups are “Plant a Tree For Me” and the Carbon Fund.
Here is my belief. The manufacturing of greener technology is just the right thing to do, whether people buy it or not. So my company took some really bold steps to do that. What is satisfying is that the marketplace (buyers) is really responding. Let’s have a conversation about this. Tell me what you want in greener technology. Tell me where you are seeing it. Share your links. Let’s grow the interest.
When the Climate Savers Computing Initiative was founded last summer, we created a very focused goal of reducing the power consumed by PCs and servers by 50% in 2010. As I’ve traveled across the globe discussing Intel’s focus on eco-technology and the metrics laid out by the Climate Savers Computing program, I’ve become confident that the computing industry has the capability to deliver the core technologies which will enable us to achieve the levels of energy efficiency we’ve outlined. After all, the computing industry has never shied away from aggressive innovation since the birth of the PC three decades ago. But in looking at our goals it quickly becomes clear that this innovation only solves part of the issue. With over a billion connected PCs spanning the globe, it will take a major awareness shift in PC user habits to drive our success. With over 90% of desktop users currently not utilizing the power management capabilities provided free on their PCs today it becomes clear that we have a major task ahead of us in creating the awareness that a PC is a device that actually deserves the same attention as compact fluorescent bulbs or water heater blankets.
This is why my first blog for Climate Savers Computing is about how we can tackle this enormous challenge, and I think we can all receive a bit of inspiration from Alexander Lin. For those who haven’t heard of his impressive accomplishments, I’d like to share how I found out about this amazing young man… Okay, I hate to admit it, but yesterday I bought a HUGE bag of Doritos. Questions about dietary choices aside, there was something quite fascinating on the back of the package: a great story about a 13 year-old boy in Westerly, Rhode Island who started an electronic waste (ewaste) management system in his home town and recycled over 40 tons of ewaste to-date, established a new program for on-going collection of e-waste, and delivered hundreds of computers once destined for a landfill to children who would not otherwise have access to PCs. Awesome what he’s done! And awesome that Frito-Lay used some very valuable space on their package to promote it. Alexander is a prime example of the power of each individual to drive change in our communities.
With the Climate Savers Computing challenge of simply turning on power management on PCs and looking for an efficient model the next time you’re shopping for a computer, the change we’re driving is significantly less complex than Alexander’s program. This is why I’m asking you, today, to pledge your support for the Climate Savers Computing program. Additionally, I’m asking you to tell your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. If you’re as inspired by Alexander’s story as I am, you may want to take your communication of our program further to others in your community. It is with these simple actions that we will create the awareness necessary to reach our goal.
The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is a nonprofit group of eco-conscious consumers, businesses and conservation organizations dedicated to improving the power efficiency and reducing the energy consumption of computers. By producing and purchasing power-efficient products, our goal is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in power consumption by computers by 2010. For more information, visit www.climatesaverscomputing.org.
Copyright 2011 Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Climate Savers® is a trademark or registered trademark of WWF, the international conservation organization used under license.