Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Climate Savers add to green push

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative has arrived, with Intel, Dell, Lenovo and EDS holding a local launch at the Going Green Expo in Melbourne last week.

Founded a year ago, the non-profit, industry-wide initiative aims to achieve a 50 per cent improvement in global computer energy efficiency by 2010.

The program's goal of 90 per cent performance for PC power supplies, for both business and home users, would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tonnes a year, and save more than $US5.5 billion ($5.7 billion) in energy costs.

Google, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and the World Wildlife Fund also support the local program, launched by Climate Savers global leader Lorie Wigle.

"Australia's contribution to achieving our goals is vital to our success," she said.

"Improving the energy efficiency of computers is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing electricity consumption and GHG emissions."

The initiative, which sets aggressive targets for introducing power management systems and buying more efficient technology, is open to any business, government agency or individual.

Google Australia engineering head Alan Noble said the initiative would make a significant contribution to CO2 reduction.

Participating computer manufacturers are committed to building products that meet or surpass the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star ratings.

Dell last week became the first major computer maker to offer Silver 80 Plus-certified power supplies for desktops in line with the EPA's Energy Star standard requiring 80 per cent or more efficiency.

Dell also marked its year-old commitment to being "the greenest technology company on the planet" by reporting the recycling of more than 45 million kilograms of IT equipment recovered from customers last year, up 20 per cent from 2006.

HP social and environmental responsibility vice-president Pat Tiernan said the company took its environmental responsibilities very seriously, "but while we have significant industry influence, we realise we cannot do it alone".

"Through our work with Climate Savers, we are aiming at increasing energy efficiency across the IT industry," he said.

EDS Australia green practice leader Sundeep Khisty said the company had developed an "eco-friendly way" of managing desktops and data centres.

Lenovo Australia business manager Otto Ruettinger said it was "constantly evaluating its environmental performance, and raising the bar in delivering energy-efficient PCs".

"Our policy takes a long-term, comprehensive approach, considering everything from site operations to product design to recycling at the end of product life," Mr Ruettinger said.

The big manufacturers will be held to their green promises amid growing pressure from consumers and environmental groups.

Greenpeace, for example, regularly rates the 18 top makers of PCs, mobile phones, televisions and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals and recycling.,24897,23836755-15306,00.html