Making the most of the energy we are using today is the fastest and most effective way to make an immediate impact in reducing carbon emissions. At the same time, we must fundamentally change how the world lives and works, replacing our inefficient, resource-heavy ways with more productive, sustainable alternatives. The use of technology can play a pivotal role on both counts.
Information and communications technology accounts for about 2% of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.1 While HP and our industry must continually work to reduce our carbon footprint, the larger opportunity lies in using the unique power of technology to reduce the other 98% of GHG emissions.
HP has a two-pronged approach. First, we are helping everyone from consumers to enterprises lower their energy consumption and reduce costs with a leading portfolio of energy-efficient information technology (IT) equipment.
The larger, longer-term solution is to use IT to transform the global economy through systemic change. HP is applying technology to replace outmoded, inefficient processes and behaviors with more sustainable alternatives, and also to provide technology solutions for managing the emerging low-carbon economy.
Addressing the impact of IT
Choosing energy-efficient technology from HP is helping customers cut energy consumption by more than half compared with products introduced just a few years ago. For example, the HP EliteBook 8440p Notebook PC consumes less than half the energy of an average 2005 notebook.2 In the data center, HP ProLiant G7 servers deliver powerful computing performance while reducing energy consumption. If 10,000 servers from 2005 were recycled and refreshed with the HP DL360 G7 in an average data center, customers could reduce their energy consumption by nearly 19 million kWh per year and avoid the associated emissions of 9,600 tonnes of CO2e. That's equivalent to taking more than 1,800 cars off the road for one year.3
HP is also innovating solutions that help customers control energy consumption. Technology that measures and manages energy use in real time is among the keys to reducing the consumption of energy while increasing productivity. For example, HP Data Center Smart Grid is helping enterprises see and control energy use across the data center, helping to reduce power consumption, expenses, and their carbon footprint. Smart Grid technology collects and communicates thousands of measurements across IT systems and facilities. Its system of interconnected sensors detect when power is being wasted, and allows IT managers to make adjustments in real time.
For more information about the energy efficiency of HP products, see Product use.
Reducing energy use and GHG emissions throughout the global economy
HP is proactively working to help decrease the 98% of GHG emissions not caused by information and communications technology (ICT). A recent study identified ways that ICT can lead to emissions reductions, and estimated possible savings equivalent to five times the size of the sector's own footprint—up to 7.8 billion tonnes of CO2e per year. This is equal to 15% of total worldwide emissions by 2020 compared with current "business as usual" projections.4
HP collaborates with many organizations to achieve our goals and to examine the potential for IT to enable GHG emissions reductions in several sectors and applications.
We also provide innovative applications of technology that are fundamentally changing how people live, businesses operate, and the way the world works.
Build intelligent infrastructure
Much of the legacy infrastructure of agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries was not designed to conserve energy or scale effectively.
HP is working to embed IT into the world's built infrastructure, to monitor environmental conditions, align supply with demand in real time, and reduce waste and inefficiency.
For example, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is using HP's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution to monitor water consumption in real time. HP designed software and metering solutions to automatically extract data from the field every five minutes, allowing DWSD to quickly identify and address problems in the system, analyze and forecast usage trends, and give customers a better picture of their water use. DWSD's productivity has improved by 15%, and providing customers instant access to consumption and pricing data encourages conservation.
HP's Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE) is an IT ecosystem that senses, collects, sends, and analyzes information about the world's infrastructure in real time. CeNSE is another instance of how HP is helping customers use IT to guide research, help manage systems, reduce waste, and anticipate and respond to issues. HP is working with the major oil company Shell to put CeNSE into application, by producing a groundbreaking solution to sense, collect, and store geophysical data. The system is designed to integrate with Shell's high-performance computing and seismic imaging environment, and will vastly improve the quality of seismic data and help the company reduce the environmental impact of its exploratory operations.
Drive sustainable transformation
Beyond enhancing the ability of existing systems to reduce energy needs, sustainability also requires transformation of behaviors, systems, processes, and business models. We are using IT to drive this transformation, by replacing outmoded systems with more productive and innovative alternatives.
HP Visual Collaboration
Consider that travel to business meetings—especially air travel—results in extensive GHG emissions. For example, one round trip from New York to London for one person produces nearly 1250 kg (2750 pounds) of CO2e.
HP Visual Collaboration, a suite of video conferencing tools and managed services, offers all the advantages of face-to-face meetings without the environmental impact of business travel. In 2010, we completed a portfolio of solutions from studios to room-based and desktop systems. The new software-based solutions make visual collaboration accessible to more users, and deliver high-definition video experiences with no need for a special room. In 2010, we estimate the use of HP Visual Collaboration avoided more than 70,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions that would have been generated had the meetings taken place in person.5 See the Tech gallery for more detail.
Digital commercial print and publishing
Conventional commercial printing of books, newspapers, magazines, and marketing materials typically results in high levels of overproduction and waste. This is mainly because large-scale traditional printing presses involve time-consuming setup and startup wastes, and therefore require longer print runs to achieve a low cost per page. As a consequence, publishers typically produce large batches based on anticipated sales, often resulting in overproduction.
For example, 20 to 30% of printed collateral is discarded before use due to obsolescence and waste,6 up to 30% of book stock is never sold,7 and up to 11% of newsprint is wasted.8 Print-on-demand with digital press technology can reduce much of this waste because it enables the industry to print what is needed, when it is needed. It also allows for personalization and targeted content, which increase user satisfaction9 and save paper by not printing pages that are not of interest to the reader.
Saving paper can reduce GHG emissions, because paper manufacture and transport represent an estimated 70% of the life cycle GHG emissions for typical large-scale print applications. We estimate that digital printing can save as much as 30% of the GHG emissions relative to traditional analog methods. (See Life cycle assessment to learn more.) Overall, the global shift to digital commercial printing, which currently represents only a small portion of total overall printing, has the potential to decrease annual GHG emissions by 114 million to 251 million tonnes of CO2e by 2020.10 This is roughly equivalent to the estimated potential savings that could be realized worldwide through either automating lighting or extensive use of telecommuting.11
HP provides a range of commercial digital printing products and services, including the following:
- Full-color, high-speed production printing, with products such as the HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press (see Tech gallery)
- Sheet-fed printing for high-quality documents and publications, using the HP Indigo 7000 digital press
- Flatbed printing for applications, such as point-of-sale material and posters—for example, with the HP Scitex FB7500, a cloud-based, on-demand magazine published with MagCloud (see Tech gallery)
- Photo printing with the HP Photosmart ml1000d Minilab, which replaces traditional silver halide systems (see Tech gallery)
- 1SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age, page 17.
- 2 2005 energy use estimated using HP technology and per EPA typical energy consumption (TEC) per Energy Star.
- 3 This analysis compares the energy consumption of comparable HP products in 2005 with our latest models for each category of products. Even with conservative assumptions, you can see that the savings are notable. Estimations of the energy consumption of 2005 products were done by using worldwide IDC shipped volumes, HP products, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program (www.energystar.gov) product averages, and the typical energy consumption (TEC) method. The energy costs are based on U.S. Department of Energy data (http://www.eia.doe.gov/), and actual results may vary. We used the following products for this analysis: HP Deskjet 3050, HP LaserJet CP1215, HP LaserJet CP1025, HP Compaq 8200 Elite, HP Compaq 2310, HP Compaq 8000f Elite, HP Compaq LE19 monitor, HP Storage EVA, HP ProBook 6550b, HP G60t Series Notebook, HP TouchSmart610 PC, HP ProLiant DL380 G4 and G6 servers, and the HP ProLiant DL360 G7 server.
- 4SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age, page 6.
- 5 For air travel avoidance, an average of 1609 miles each way per round trip (average of short, medium, and long-haul flights at HP), and a CO2 footprint per mile of 199g CO2e (http://www.cleanairconservancy.org/) is used. Car travel to/from airport on both ends is also considered. Of the 35% of meetings that avoid travel, only 1.4 persons are assumed to avoid travel in each meeting. Usage depends on a company’s travel and meeting policies.
- 6 PODI.
- 7 PIRA 2007.
- 8 Newspaper Association of America.
- 9 CapV May 2003.
- 10Reducing the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Commercial Print with Digital Technologies, page 4.
- 11 See note 10, page 6.