Intel, HP strengthen green computing campaigns

Published: November 28th, 2008

Reaffirming their commitment to green computing, technology giants Intel and HP recently announced their respective planet-saving initiatives at the “Greenergy” forum, a slight twist from the traditional Synergy event that the two firms have been jointly organizing for the local media since 1997.

“There’s been a lot of talk about efforts (that) everybody’s doing, steps they are undertaking in terms of greening,” said Ricky Banaag, Intel Technology Philippines Inc. country manager, who explained that Intel’s approach to “eco-technology” is driven through four pillars: sustainable manufacturing, energy-efficient performance, design for the environment, and policy and industry.

According to Banaag, Intel has long been working on reducing the environmental impact of the company’s operations through various initiatives like: solid waste and consumer recycling to reduce e-waste, packaging reductions of 16-40 per cent which decreased number of shipments and fuel consumption, and the pursuit of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for fabrication plants and buildings, among many others.

In the next five years, Banaag said Intel has the following environmental goals: to reduce absolute global warming gas footprint by 2012 from 2007 levels; reduce energy consumption per chip 5% per year from 2007 through 2012; ensure that Intel products maintain energy efficiency for the next two product generations; reduce water use per chip by 2012 from 2007 levels; reduce generation of chemical waste per chip by 10 per cent by 2012 from 2007 levels; and recycle 80 per cent of chemical and solid waste generated per year.

In terms of the products they will be releasing, Banaag says the company will continue to focus on delivering performance without compromising energy efficiency. The official said this is why the company has been generating better power by adding or improving cores on the CPU instead of just increasing processor core speed. Intel’s newest 45nm processors are, likewise, lead- and halogen-free, the official said. Banaag likewise touted the use of solid-state drives in the future since, according to him, the requirements for cooling an SSD are much less. “Expect to have greater than a 5x reduction in power with the transition to SSDs,” he said.

Banaag also shared that Intel, along with Google and the World Wildlife Fund, has been actively promoting the Climate Savers Computing Initiative which aims to improve computing energy efficiency by 50 per cent (by collectively saving $5.5 billion in energy costs) as well as to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 54 million tons per year.

Meanwhile, HP has been just as busy with similar greening initiatives both internally and in the products that they come up with as they see more customers, especially enterprise consumers, are actually also beginning to look at what companies like HP are currently doing to promote greening.

Aside from its reduced energy consumption and recycling initiatives, HP has been coming up with flat panel displays instead of cathode ray tube (CRT) screens since the former are said to use less material and energy. The company has also been renewing its inkjet packaging and pouring in investments on energy-efficient product lines like the HP server processors, desk jet printers, laser jet printers, blade PCs, xw6400 workstation, and its servers and storage.

HP Philippines managing director David Tan shared that HP has collaborated with Dreamworks Animation in coming up with the Halo studio–a network of rooms that lets HP employees meet with colleagues from across the globe by providing life-size, real-time, eye-to-eye conferencing with no delay.

According to Tan, use of the Halo studio in global HP offices has led to productivity gains and huge travel cost savings. Asked whether the HP office in the Philippines shall have a Halo studio set up as well, Tan said the Philippines is one of the countries recommended to install Halo, most likely by next year.

HP has also embarked on the “Planet Partners Program” which offers to take back end-of-life HP and non-HP computing equipment like PCs, handhelds, notebooks, servers, printers, etc., for recycling. According to Tan, HP has, in fact, recycled more than 250 million HP print cartridges worldwide since the inception of the Planet Partners program in 1991.In the future, Tan says HP will continue to “green” its operations by reducing their combined product and operations energy use and associated greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 25% in 2010 and recover 2 billion pounds of computing and printing equipment by 2010.Citing data from an International Data Corporation (IDC) study Tan said 80% of HP’s global customers today evaluate environmental practices as part of purchasing and 55% actually give preferred status to vendors who address environmental issues. “We see this more from corporate clients and global customers coming here who ask about our CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives. In the Philippines, questions are coming more from corporate clients but we are increasingly seeing interest from customers about our green initiatives,” Tan said.