HP also planned to improve the energy efficiency of its printing products by 40 percent by 2011. It is already claiming to have achieved a 32 percent efficiency to date and says that it will reach the 40% mark by 2011.
The big target, however, is to save 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity by 2011 through a variety of product design strategies. With the amount of energy that HP PCs expects to save, 90,000 homes could be powered for an entire year.
This is a big claim that may well be hard to validate when the time comes. HP is also a little behind vendors such as Fujitsu Siemens who released their zero power PC several months ago. At present, HP has still to release any desktop that consumes absolutely zero power when plugged into the mains but powered off at the computer.
As part of all of this, HP has opted to put an increased effort into the US Governments ENERGY STAR qualification. From 2009, ALL HP printers will be ENERGY STAR qualified. At the same time 26 HP PC product families have configurations that will meet the new ENERGY STAR 5.0 specifications, which require 85-percent-efficient internal power supplies. An ENERGY STAR rated PC and monitor with power management tools enabled†can save†up to $75 in energy costs in one year.
HP is also focusing on creating new solutions for the datacentre. In two different locations - Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Wynyard, England - EDS, an HP subsidiary is building datacentres to manage and transform infrastructure for customers, while reducing energy consumption and cost.
When fully operational, the Tulsa centerís new cooling system design is expected to generate several million dollars in cost savings each year, and the Wynyard data center will include a mixing chamber to recirculate air to maintain conditions in the 5-meter-high pressurized plenum below the computer equipment.
To encourage both home and corporate users to change the way they think about power HP has announced the Power To Change campaign. Using a new downloadable desktop widget you can track the energy savings associated with turning off idle PCs when not in use.
As technology vendors look to use their corporate responsibility statements as marketing tools, it is likely that we will see more of these statements. However, as John Chambers, CEO, Cisco, discovered when he made claims about savings tens of millions of dollars in travel costs through increased use of video-conferencing, grand statements are easy to make but hard to deliver upon.
So far, HP has made a good start but we are only 18 months into this new Eco friendly approach. As we move closer to 2011 and some of HP's latest goals, only then will we see if the will to deliver on green, in a market that is getting tougher to sell new technology into, was more pipe dream than reality.