HP Practicing What It Preaches with Internal Green IT Initiatives

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-21 Print this article Print

HP has been ecology-minded long since before it became fashionable. The company unveils a number of new internal renewable energy initiatives that include wide use of alternative power sources and a long list of power-saving measures.

Hewlett-Packard has been enabling its server/storage array and data center design customers to save power and cooling costs since long before it became the bandwagon topic it is today.

The company itself has always been ecology-minded, going way back to the 1970s, when it put more efficient power supplies into its network printers, offered holistic data center design for environmental strategies and promoted energy-efficient operations throughout a supply chain.

Now, certainly, green IT is on everyone's agenda. But it's been part of the landscape at HP-and even on its own campuses-for more than a generation.

"The importance of energy efficiency is now on everyone's minds," Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing for HP's StorageWorks business, told eWEEK in 2007. "It's no longer trivial. It's actually a big deal."

So when HP unveiled a number of new renewable energy initiatives Oct. 20, not too many people in the know were surprised.

  • HP recently completed building a 1.1-megawatt, 6,256-solar panel system at its data center/offices in San Diego. It is one of the largest solar power installations in the county of San Diego, and it is expected to save the company about $750,000 during the next 15 years while providing more than 10 percent of the facility's power.
The new system will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 60 million pounds during the next 30 years. This is equivalent to providing electricity to 3,800 homes or removing more than 5,250 cars from the road over this time period.
  • HP is now participating in Austin's Green Choice program, to procure almost 19.9 million kilowatt hours (kwh) of wind energy from wind farms in western Texas for two of its Austin data centers, which represents nearly 20 percent of the annual energy used by them. The facilities are using the HP DSC (Dynamic Smart Cooling) system, which enables real-time changes to air conditioners, fans, vents and computing equipment to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs.
HP DSC typically yields energy savings of 20 to 40 percent over legacy HP data centers. HP's Austin data centers are on track to achieve energy cost savings of more than $100,000 annually based on the integration of HP DSC technology.
  • A newly set goal is to double the company's global purchases of renewable power from under 4 percent in 2008 to 8 percent by 2012. This complements HP's goal to reduce energy consumption and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions from HP-owned and HP-leased facilities worldwide to 16 percent below 2005 levels by 2010.
  • To reduce its carbon footprint, HP is relying on diversified renewable energy resources, improving energy efficiency and placing a strong emphasis on energy reduction and optimization at a number of its facilities around the world.
  • HP also extended the benefits of solar power to its U.S. employees. To date, more than 600 HP employees and retirees have requested an evaluation of a home system installation, and more than 60 have completed an installation or are under contract to install SunPower systems at their homes.

In 2007, HP met its goal to increase renewable energy purchases by more than 350 percent and purchased 61.4 million kwh of renewable energy and renewable energy credits in the United States.

"HP is investing in technologies that bring us closer to operating in a sustainable IT ecosystem," said John Frey, senior sustainability executive at HP. "We are supporting renewable energy programs for our own operational efficiency, harnessing research to demonstrate environmental leadership and offering products that support customer concerns about rising energy costs."


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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