Greening Computing - the Savings Add Up
IT equipment by more than 32 million metric tons worldwide since
The results are part of a benchmark study conducted by Natural
Logic to assess the progress of the Climate Savers Computing
Initiative’s (CSCI) goal of reducing annual CO2 emissions from the
IT sector by 54 million metric tons by June 2011.
The initiative, formed in 2007, is an international coalition to
reduce the environmental impact of new and emerging IT equipment
through energy efficiency.
This new research shows that annual CO2 emissions from IT
equipment have decreased by 32 million to 36 million metric tons
worldwide since 2007. This amount is equivalent to taking nine
coal-fired power plants offline and is equal to more than $2
billion in annual energy savings.
Additionally, the research shows that the IT sector is on target
to achieve Climate Savers Computing Initiative’s reduction goal by
the end of its 2010 fiscal year in June 2011.
These results can be attributed in part to the Climate Savers
Computing Initiative’s coordinated efforts to accelerate the
adoption of computer power management; new efficiency standards for
computing technologies; and the development, deployment, and
adoption of higher-efficiency computing equipment.
When CSCI was established in 2007,
desktop computers wasted 50 percent of the power coming from the
“When CSCI was established in 2007, desktop computers wasted 50
percent of the power coming from the wall,” says Lorie Wigle,
general manager of the Eco-Technology Program Office for Intel
Corporation and president of the Climate Savers Computing
“Today, through the collective efforts of our organization,
hardware manufacturers, large IT buyers, and other key partners,
the IT sector has cut that waste by at least 25 percent for new
systems,” he added.
The study covered the first three program years of the Climate
Savers Computing Initiative, from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2010.
Data was compiled by examining CSCI member company progress on
power-management adoption and market data, including shipment and
installed-base information, PSU efficiency levels, number of units
sold worldwide, operating systems in use, market research, and
estimates from industry analysts.
“The Climate Savers Computing Initiative has made significant
strides in reducing the impact of computing on our environment,”
says Steve Ryan, program manager for the ENERGY STAR Low-Carbon IT
Campaign at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“This research demonstrates progress, but we know that still
more can be done by increasing the adoption of power management and
energy efficient computing equipment in the U.S. and
What’s Next: Focus Will Include Networking
Going forward, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative will
leverage the expertise and leadership of its founding board of
directors with that of new board members, Cisco, Emerson Network
Power, and Juniper Networks, as the organization expands its focus
to include commercial and home networking systems and devices.
“As the number of networked devices continues to rise, the
energy demands on networks and networking equipment will increase
in step. With this growth, there is significant energy and cost
savings potential,” said Bill Weihl, Green Energy Czar at Google
Inc. and Climate Savers Computing board member.
“The Climate Savers Computing Initiative recognizes that in
order to achieve end-to-end computing energy efficiency, we must
address the energy used by connected devices and their interaction
with the network.”
The organization will begin by setting new energy efficiency
criteria for networking technologies. These new criteria will be
developed by working with Cisco, Emerson Network Power, and Juniper
Networks and through alliances with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and others.
As part of this expansion, commercial and residential routers
and switches, commercial WLAN, and security and access devices will
be incorporated into the organization’s environmental mission, with
the goal of reducing annual CO2 emissions by an additional 38
million metric tons by 2015. This is the equivalent of $5 billion
in annual energy cost savings.
Energy used by commercial and
residential building’s networking systems and devices will increase
by roughly 6 percent annually without a focused effort to improve
their energy efficiency.
According to research from the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory, the energy used by commercial and residential
building’s networking systems and devices will increase by roughly
6 percent annually without a focused effort to improve their energy
“We hope to reverse this trend, and we think we can,” said
Wigle. “Our research shows that, with the adoption of conservation
and efficiency measures on networking equipment, a commercial or
residential building’s energy use can be reduced by more than 10
The demand for energy efficient computing is rising among
corporations in the U.S. and globally, according to industry
“We’re seeing a notable trend in CIO priorities globally that
will play a role in market adoption of more efficient networking
technology,” said Andy Lawrence, an analyst with the 451 Group.
“Corporations worldwide are working to reduce their
environmental impact, and at the same time trying to cut operating
costs. Energy efficient computing can do both, and the Climate
Savers Computing Initiative’s ability to apply the principles of
power management to networking has the potential to have a big
payoff for the environment.”
target=”_blank”>The study is available free of charge