Not Just Technology

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative
by: Jerry Liao

When I.T. companies compete, they compete hard. But when they work on a certain initiative, you can expect the same intensity from them.

Google, Intel, Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, PG and E, and other entities, have devised a Climate Savers Computing Initiative, with a goal to save .5 billion in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year. The goal of the new broad-based environmental effort is to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting aggressive new targets for energy-efficient computers and components, and promoting the adoption of energy-efficient computers and power management tools worldwide.

Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Operations and Google Fellow remarked, ”Today, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half of its power, and the average server wastes one-third of its power. The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is setting a new 90 percent efficiency target for power supplies which, if achieved, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year — and save more than .5 billion in energy costs. We are asking businesses and individuals throughout the world to join with us to institute better power management of their computing equipment and purchase energy-efficient computers.”

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative licensed its name from the WWF Climate Savers program, which involves several leading companies working to reduce their carbon footprint. Initial companies who intend to participate in the initiative represent both the demand and supply side of the computer industry, including computer manufacturers and chip makers, as well as environmental groups, energy companies, retailers, government agencies and more. The group will formalize its membership in the coming weeks.

Pat Gelsinger, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group added, ”By 2010, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative will cut greenhouse gas emissions in an amount equal to removing more than 11 million cars from the road or shutting down 20 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants — a significant step in reducing the emissions affecting our planet. Computers have helped us make huge strides toward a more efficient world today, with reduced travel, more productivity, online transactions and more. But with today’s latest energy-efficient technologies, we can do even more. The commitment of the member companies that are here with us today is a firm statement to the collective resolve to make an enormous impact.”

Computer and computer component manufacturers who support the initiative are committed to building energy-efficient products that meet or surpass the EPA’s Energy Star guidelines. Businesses must also commit to requiring high efficiency systems for the majority of their corporate desktop PCs and volume server purchases, and to deploy and use power management tools on desktop PCs.

Individual consumers can also support the Climate Savers Computing Initiative by signing up at http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org, where they will be able to pledge to purchase an initiative-certified system. The Web site will also help consumers learn how to take advantage of their existing computer’s power-saving capabilities such as sleep and hibernate modes, which can reduce the amount of energy consumed by up to 60 percent.

John Donoghue, Senior Vice President for the World Wildlife Fund offered, ”This is the first time our Climate Savers program has been applied to an entire sector, engaging manufacturers, retailers and consumers. We are pleased to join these industry leaders to provide solutions to address climate change.”

The initiative’s energy efficiency benchmarks will initially follow the EPA’s Energy Star guidelines, but with increasing requirements during the next several years. For example, 2007 Energy Star specifications require that PC power supplies meet at least 80 percent minimum efficiency. The initiative will require a minimum of 90 percent by 2010. In addition, the initiative sets a higher efficiency target in the power supply for volume servers (1U and 2U single-socket and dual-socket systems); an increase from 85 percent to 92 percent efficiency by 2010.

Member entities include: Intel Corporation, Google Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Canonical Ltd., Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, Coldwatt, Inc., Dell Inc., Delta Electronics, Inc., eBay, Electronic Data Systems Corporation, EMC Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, HP, Hipro Technology Inc., Hitachi, Ltd., IBM Corporation, LANDesk Software, Lenovo, Linux Foundation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Microsoft Corporation, Natural Resources Defense Council, NEC Corporation, One Laptop Per Child, PG and E Corporation, Power-One, Inc., Quanta Computer Inc., Rackable Systems, Red Hat, Inc., Starbucks Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Inc., Supermicro Computer Inc., Ubuntu, Unisys, United States Environmental Protection Agency, University of Michigan, Verdiem Corporation, World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund, and Yahoo! Inc.

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