We are in the second year of a companywide initiative to improve the energy efficiency of our operations. Energy efficiency will remain central to reducing our costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as our business—and especially our focus on data center services—grows.

Under our Global Workplace Initiative, we are streamlining our operations to use fewer sites more efficiently. Our activities include:

  • Installing energy-efficient technology in offices, research labs, and data centers
  • Adapting buildings to support a higher density and more mobile workforce, for example by increasing flexible workspace
  • Consolidating operations—and especially data centers—into fewer, more efficient sites (see below), and decommissioning surplus office space
  • Using recycled and recyclable materials in construction, and including sustainable design features in new buildings

In 2010, we invested over $11 million USD in energy-efficiency improvement projects. We anticipate that these projects will reduce our yearly energy use by approximately 70 million kWh, and save us $5.7 million USD annually. Lighting efficiency projects alone reduced our energy consumption by around 10 million kWh during 2010.

We encourage all HP employees to look for energy-efficiency opportunities at work, and to contribute daily by switching off lights and equipment when not in use.

All HP buildings in the UK (not including former EDS sites) met the Carbon Trust Standard during 2010, a certification based on reductions of carbon footprint and a company's commitment to ongoing reductions.

We are in the process of certifying our site in Shanghai, China, to the ISO 14064 GHG accounting standard, and anticipate completion during 2011.

Making data centers more efficient

HP operates over 100 client-serving data centers worldwide, in addition to our six internal data centers located in three cities in the United States. These meet the data services needs of our enterprise customers and our own internal information technology (IT) activities, respectively.

We saw significant growth in customer demand for data services throughout 2010. This trend poses a challenge for our efforts to reduce absolute energy use and GHG emissions from operations, because data centers can consume 20 to 40 times as much energy per square meter as offices. As a result, energy efficiency and data center consolidation are becoming all the more important.

Our award-winning Wynyard data center in the UK, which opened in February 2010, demonstrates best-practice efficiency. One of the most efficient general purpose data centers in the world, it is cooled using ambient air nearly year-round, and features technology to humidify and re-circulate air as necessary to maintain constant conditions, white walls to reduce the amount of lighting needed, and a reflective roof to minimize heat absorption. Wynyard achieves a power usage effectiveness (PUE)1 rating of 1.2, 40% better than the industry average (1.0 is the best possible rating). (See the Tech gallery for more detail.)

HP Enterprise Services is helping to shape global data center standards by participating at the board level in The Green Grid, as well as by its membership in the Site Uptime Network.

Data center consolidation

Data center consolidation helps us reduce costs, phase out older technologies, and improve service levels, while helping decrease energy use and associated GHG emissions.

In late 2009, HP Enterprise Services began a multiyear plan to reduce the number of internal and customer-facing data centers it operates worldwide, and to make the remainder more energy efficient. During 2010, consolidation enabled us to close 16 data centers and 447 computer labs and reduce floor space by around 12,000 square meters, while maintaining our presence in all the world's major regions and our ability to support customers worldwide. In turn, we estimate that this consolidation avoided 260,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions.

Our six internal data centers are located in or near Atlanta, Georgia, and Austin and Houston, Texas. They are the result of efforts between 2005 and 2008 to consolidate 85 data centers, helping reduce energy consumption while significantly increasing processing power. The six internal data centers are expandable to more than double their existing area, enabling us to accommodate substantial future growth. We built each of these facilities with the environment in mind, and have obtained the LEED® Gold sustainable building certification for one of them, in Hockley, near Houston. (See Sustainable building design to learn more.)

  1. 1 Power usage effectiveness is the accepted measure of data center energy efficiency.