Computer and electronics manufacturer HP announced today its goal to reduce its energy consumption and green house gas emissions of its products to 40% under its 2005 levels, all by 2011. As the Greenpeace tagging incident underscored, HP doesn't always stick to its target dates; however, it plans on meeting not only that goal, but also another big goal for 2013 that targets one giant C02-spewing area of its operations. Data centers. HP wants to drop its GHG emissions of its facilities to 20% less than 2005 levels, and it plans to be able to accomplish this by focusing entirely on data centers. This shouldn't be too difficult to do considering the immense reductions in energy use possible by implementing a few simple changes such as increasing virtualization, or implementing smart algorithms that are currently coming out of research labs. It won't be difficult for them to gather whatever knowledge is needed to cheaply and radically reduce their environmental footprint in this sector - even Microsoft is handing out data center efficiency information freely. We won't misconstrue this as a benevolent move by HP - it's simply smart. Running data centers is energy intensive and therefore expensive, so maximizing efficiency is a no-brainer business move.
Back to the 40% reduction of its products...HP doesn't state with much specificity how it plans on doing this. It notes that innovation in product design is a big factor, but what exactly does that mean? In the examples it states, meeting Energy Star standards and recycling both pop up often. Might we also point out what could be saved through switching to more savvy packaging? Something is better than nothing, without a doubt, but it seems like the company isn't stretching itself too far. We're curious about what reductions HP could see if it really pushed its capabilities. However, it is worth noting:
HP has already exceeded the goal set in January 2008 to reduce the energy consumption of its volume desktop and notebook PC families by 25 percent by 2010, below 2005 levels. HP has reduced the energy consumption of its highest-volume desktop and notebook PCs by 41 percent since 2005.
So perhaps these 2011 and 2013 goals will be met. If not, we know an environmental activism group that will have a bucket of paint at the ready...
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