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Energy use

Energy use accounts for 98 percent of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by our operations and represents one of the largest costs of operating our facilities. The remaining 2 percent of our GHG emissions is generated by refrigeration equipment and HP manufacturing processes. We report GHG emissions from employee business travel separately in Business travel.

We estimate emissions from product manufacturing and product transport, as well as the emissions benefit related to product recycling. Although these are not under our direct control, we do have programs in place to reduce them.

We strive to reduce our energy consumption, to decrease GHG emissions and costs. We have now brought 465 former EDS sites into our energy-efficiency program and are implementing the Global Workplace Initiative at these locations. These facilities are also acting on efficiency recommendations made in a 2008 study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nongovernmental organization. These sites represented about 28 percent of our total energy use in 2009.

Following the integration of EDS, we have re-established a 2005 baseline for our emissions reduction target to include former EDS sites and all other acquisitions that have occurred since 2005. Our new baseline is 2,273,800 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. Our new goal is to reduce GHG emissions from HP-owned and HP-leased facilities to 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2013, in absolute terms.

This GHG emissions goal replaces our previous goal to reduce energy consumption and the resulting GHG emissions from HP-owned and HP-leased facilities worldwide to 16 percent below 2005, by 2010. We had already decreased the energy used in HP operations by more than 9 percent through 2008, so following the acquisition of EDS we set an interim target to reduce energy consumption in our facilities by 7 percent (the remaining percentage in the goal) below 2008 levels by the end of 2010. We decreased energy consumption 9 percent in 2009 compared with 2008, capitalizing on opportunities for real estate consolidation and energy efficiency due to the acquisition. We are working to ensure we maintain these gains through 2010. (See Performance below for more information.)

Improving workplace energy efficiency

In 2009 we launched a major effort to further improve the energy efficiency of HP operations. The Global Workplace Initiative builds on our earlier efforts to improve real estate efficiency. Following the integration of EDS , HP now owns and leases 46 percent more space than a year ago, providing us with fresh opportunities to improve efficiency.

Under the initiative we are streamlining our operations to use fewer sites, more efficiently. We are consolidating our operational locations to core sites and adapting buildings to support a higher density and more mobile workforce. Main activities include:

In 2009, we completed projects and operational changes that we expect will deliver savings of more than 66 million kWh of electricity in 2010. We invested $5 million in initiatives such as implementing lighting retrofits in parking garages and office spaces, and installing fluorescent lights, motion sensors and other energy-saving technology across our operations.

We also introduced Power to Change, an effort that challenges HP employees to save energy in offices and conference rooms by turning off lights and equipment at their desk at the end of the day, and shutting off lights and projectors when conference rooms are no longer needed. Employees can use a dedicated website to record their involvement and share ideas. Read more about Power to Change.

All legacy HP buildings in the UK (not including former EDS sites) meet the Carbon Trust Standard, a certification that recognizes businesses that reduce their carbon footprint and commit to further annual cuts.

Data center consolidation

HP operates over 150 client-facing data centers worldwide, in addition to our six internal data centers located in three cities in the United States. These meet the data storage needs of our enterprise customers and our own internal IT activities.

Before the integration of EDS , we completed a three-year program (from 2005 to 2008) to consolidate 85 HP internal IT data centers into just six locations in three U.S. cities: Atlanta, Austin and Houston. Consolidation helped us to reduce costs, eliminate older technologies and improve service levels, while decreasing environmental impact. We achieved a 40 percent reduction in servers, while delivering a significant increase in processing power. Overall, by 2009 the project cut our internal IT data centers’ energy consumption by 60 percent from 2005 levels.

The six data centers are expandable to more than double their existing area, enabling us to accommodate future growth without building new centers. One of them, near Houston, is expected to achieve the LEED® Gold standard for sustainable building design. We also consolidated computer rooms at HP’s R&D campus in Cupertino, California, into a single large room, reducing GHG emissions by 3,900 tonnes of CO2e each year. In 2009, HP received an award from the State of California recognizing the improvements in efficiency at Cupertino.

HP Enterprise Services is now reviewing its data center capacity and in 2010 will produce a multi-year plan to reduce the number of internal and customer-facing facilities it operates worldwide. It is committed to modernizing its data centers, improving their energy efficiency and extending their useful lives.

Data center energy efficiency, whatever the weather

Best-practice data center efficiency is exhibited at two HP Enterprise Services data centers in very different environments: inland Oklahoma, United States, and coastal northern England, UK.

In December 2008 we completed a 17-month project to expand and upgrade our Tulsa, Oklahoma, data center. The facility is designed to be energy efficient in temperatures that range from below freezing in winter to over 100°F in summer. It has a highly reflective roof, technology to prevent hot air from entering cooled areas and a specially designed cooling system. The efficiency measures built into the design provide the data center a power usageeffectiveness (PUE)1 rating of 1.35, ranking it among the top 10 percent of all data centers in the United States for energy efficiency.2 We also focused on reducing the data center’s carbon footprint during its construction.

HP’s Wynyard data center in the UK, which opened in February 2010, is one of the largest and most energy-efficient data centers in Europe. It is cooled using ambient air, which is often cold in that part of the country, nearly year-round. Its features include technology to humidify, cool 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. Chillers are available for use on hot days. The Wynyard design has achieved a PUE rating of 1.2, 40 percent better than the industry average. This will save HP an estimated $4 million per year. Rainwater is collected in storage tanks for use in landscaping, nonpotable water use in the building, and the humidification process. The innovative design has already achieved a BREEAM certification of “Excellent” and won Data Center Dynamics’ Green Data Center award in December 2008.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) collaborated with HP on conceptual design of the Wynyard data center. A three-day ‘charrette’—an intensive, transdisciplinary design workshop with an ambitious deliverable—convened a wide range of HP stakeholders and experts with external designers and advisors. This approach tested, refined, validated and integrated innovative ideas of HP staff and the wider data-center design community. Iterative collaboration revealed that a radically efficient data center design was not only possible, but cost-effective and deliverable on the already tight timeline.

RMI has worked similarly with scores of diverse firms to identify creative ways to couple improved energy and environmental performance with attractive economics. HP’s participants brought to the design table deep knowledge and a pragmatic attitude. Their open-minded collaboration drove the charrette’s recommendations to completion of a working, high-performing data center that’s now inspiring new business models.

–Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

Renewable energy

HP purchased approximately 131 million kWh of renewable energy worldwide in 2009. Voluntary renewable energy purchases (including credits and energy generated on-site) represented 3.6 percent of HP’s electricity use in 2009, in addition to the renewable energy available by default in the power grid. This is a 30 percent increase over the amount purchased in 2008.3 Our goal remains to achieve 8 percent of voluntary purchases of electricity from renewable sources by 2012.

To meet this goal, we are exploring opportunities with providers of wind and solar power, participating in green energy programs and securing renewable energy. For example:

  • We have contracted an energy provider in Texas to supply one of our Austin data centers with 19 million kWh of wind power annually for 20 years, equivalent to 20 percent of that center’s current energy needs.
  • In 2009 we met 50 percent of our Irish operations’ energy needs using wind power.
  • SunPower Corporation generates solar energy at HP’s San Diego facility, using 6,256 solar panels. The panels produce 1.7 million kWh per year, meeting over 10 percent of the facility's energy needs and reducing CO2e emissions by more than 550 tonnes. We have committed to buy this energy from SunPower for 15 years, saving over $750,000 in total. As part of the initiative, HP and SunPower offered HP employees discounted solar panels for their homes. More than 88 employees and retirees have had the panels installed as a result.
  • We approved two new solar energy projects. In Grenoble, France, HP will be able to claim the carbon credits generated by a 175,000 kWh per year project that feeds the electricity grid. In Kyriat-Gat, Israel, an 81,000 kWh per year project will help power the HP Indigo digital press facility.
  • Our new 35,000-square-meter data center near Houston will feature an on-site photovoltaic solar power system that will generate nearly 280,000 kWh of electricity annually. (Read more about this data center’s sustainable design.)

To meet the remainder of our renewable energy goal, we also purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) as part of our electricity contracts in the United States. To decrease our emissions further, we source large hydroelectric energy contracts in Belgium, Italy and the UK.

See detail about renewable energy purchasing in the data dashboard.


In 2009, we decreased our total energy use by 9 percent compared with 2008 (including former EDS sites). This included an 8 percent reduction in electricity use and a 16 percent decrease in natural gas consumption. This was due to two main factors:

  • A decrease of 9 percent in square footage, largely due to the integration of EDS after the acquisition in 2008
  • Success in numerous energy-reduction initiatives (see above)
Energy use, 2005–2009 [million kWh]*
Stacked column chart
      2005 2006 2007 2008 ** 2009
  yellow Natural gas 469   393
  orange Electricity 3,972   3,653
  blue Total 4,730 4,441   4,046
* Data for 2005 reflect the reset baseline including EDS and other acquisitions since 2005. Data for 2008 and 2009 include EDS and all other acquisitions. Revised calculations for 2006 and 2007 were not performed.
** EDS data for 2008 have been modified compared with data previously reported to exclude customer-owned and operated facilities.
  1. 1 Power usage effectiveness is the accepted measure of data center energy efficiency.
  2. 2 Using data provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the recent Energy Star survey.
  3. 3 After publication of the 2008 Global Citizenship Report, we recalculated this number when comprehensive data from acquired EDS sites was available. The correct figure is 2.5 percent of total energy purchased and not 4 percent as originally stated.