Hewlett Packard Continues to Raise the Green Bar

HP Expands its Eco Solutions Portfolio: Aims to Save 1B kWh by 2011
hpweb_1-2_topnav_hp_logo.gifAccording to a recent report from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), consumer electronics and computers account for a whopping 15% of your household energy consumption. Considering that the average U.S. household now owns over 27 consumer electronics devices, and growing, it’s expected that over the next 3-5 years this percentage will increase to over 20% which is the same energy consumption used for heating or lighting our homes.
The good news is many consumer electronics companies are now competing to see who can be the greenest by driving energy efficiency initiatives throughout their product portfolios. Even though this competition can seem more about marketing at times, it also helps to demonstrate that big companies can have a big impact just by making continual, incremental improvements to their products and operations. Take for example HP’s recent announcement about the several additions to its HP Eco Solutions program, including new products, services and operations, as well as company-wide environmental goals. HP has set a new goal to save 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity by 2011 through a variety of product design strategies. As for impact, this is enough energy to power 90,000 homes for an entire year.

New Solutions for the Consumer, Enterprise and Data Centers
HP’s expanded Eco Solutions portfolio now covers much of their product range.
datacentergreen.jpgFor the consumer, 26 HP PC product families have configurations that will meet the new Energy Star 5.0 specifications, which require 85% efficient internal power supplies. The EPA, who developed the energy efficiency standard, estimates an Energy Star-rated PC and monitor with power management tools enabled can save up to $75 in energy costs in one year.
In 2008, HP shipped more than 25 million Energy Star qualified printers. Additionally, all its new 2009 HP LaserJet and inkjet printer families will have Energy Star qualified offerings. HP’s Instant-on Technology, found in many their LaserJet printers, provides up to 50 percent energy savings over traditional power methods, and the company estimates this feature alone has reduced emissions by 6.4 million tons of CO2 to date.
Also, HP announced the launch of Power To Change, a campaign that encourages personal computer users around the world to make behavioral changes in support of the environment. This new desktop widget (which is available for download) tracks the energy savings associated with turning off idle PCs when not in use.
For the enterprise, HP has expanded the HP Eco Solutions printing practice for large organizations with an update to the HP Carbon Footprint Calculator. The calculator helps businesses estimate energy consumption, energy costs, paper usage and carbon footprint associated with their network of printers. It then allows the business to model footprint reductions through the selection of different devices, consolidating devices and other energy saving solutions.
With the increasing cost of energy, data centers play a critical role in cutting operational costs and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. HP has doubled the number of energy-efficient servers it now offers to 22. The company estimates that if all the legacy rack and blade servers sold worldwide in 2005 were replaced with their new energy-efficient servers, customers would save $2.5 billion in energy costs.

Who’s the Greenest of Them All?

As the green bar keeps going higher, who knows which electronics company will eventually win this contest. The competition is certainly heating up between Dell and Apple over marketing claims Apple recently made about having the “greenest notebook” portfolio. But in the meantime, the people who use these products as well as the environment are the big winners, as electronic devices are built with fewer toxic materials and consume less energy.
So does it matter what motives are driving the competition as long as the bar keeps moving up?

Jim Witkin is a writer and researcher based in Silicon Valley focused on business, technology and the environment. His work has been featured in the New York Times and Guardian newspapers on topics that include: sustainable business practices, clean tech, the environment and next generation transportation technologies. He holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School. Contact him at jameswitkin@gmail.com

3 responses

  1. Good article, I hear what you’re saying about the need for reduced energy emissions. Ultimately the companies with a real commitment to sustainability will have the most impact over companies that are looking for green PR.

  2. I don’t think so. As long as they produce results, their motives are secondary. I applaud HP for continuing to green their products, and they are smart to stay out of the Dell vs Apple war of words.

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