IBM CR Report: Energy Conservation Cuts Energy Costs by $26.8M

by | Jun 30, 2010

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IBM’s energy conservation program saved the company $26.8 million and prevented more than 142,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2009, according to the company’s 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report.

IBM’s report provides an overview of four key areas: energy conservation and climate protection, process stewardship, product stewardship and supply chain management. Here are the highlights.

In 2009, IBM’s energy conservation initiatives delivered savings equal to 5.4 percent of its total energy use, which exceeded the corporate goal of 3.5 percent. These projects saved more than 246,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity and more than 410,000 million BTUs of fuel oil, cutting nearly $27 million in energy costs.

IBM has saved 5.1 billion kWh of electricity, which also prevented 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2009.

As part of its effort, IBM is leveraging its technologies and solutions to make its data center operations more energy efficient. Projects include expanding virtualization and consolidation projects as well as extending its real-time thermal monitoring system across its data centers to identify areas for energy improvements. In addition, the company is implementing new processes to minimize back-up IT equipment energy use and is improving IT equipment energy efficiency.

In February 2010, IBM opened its new data center in Raleigh, North Carolina, which uses only half the energy required of a similar facility its size.

Earlier this year, IBM’s four-processor and UNIX-based POWER 750 Express and Power 755 enterprise servers became the first four-processor servers in the industry to be qualified to the U.S. EPA Energy Star server requirements.

IBM also is helping cities and utilities become smarter by providing new technologies and tools to help them better manage their resources, while reducing cost, increasing reliability and lowering energy and water consumption.

IBM set a goal to reduce perfluorocompounds (PFCs) emissions from its semiconductor manufacturing operations 25 percent by 2010 against a base year of 1995. As of year-end 2009, IBM’s PFC emissions were 48.8 percent below the 1995 baseline amount of 381,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. The company attributes a portion of the reduction to reduced manufacturing volumes in 2009.

Between 1990 and 2005, IBM’s energy conservation actions prevented CO2 emissions by an amount equal to 40 percent of its 1990 emissions. IBM’s “second-generation” goal is to reduce CO2 emissions associated with the company’s energy use 12 percent between 2005 and 2012 through energy conservation and the procurement of renewable energy.

IBM’s 2009 CO2 emissions were 2.6 percent below its 2008 emissions, and 5.7 percent below its adjusted 2005 baseline.

To help reduce energy demand, IBM is increasing its purchase of renewable energy.

In 2009, IBM purchased 560 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy, an increase of over 100 million kWh compared to 2008. The purchases represent 11.3 percent of the company’s 2009 global electricity use.

In February 2010, IBM announced it had built a thin-film solar cell that claims an efficiency of 9.6 percent, which is 40 percent higher than previous designs. IBM says this solar cell set a new world record for efficiency and holds the potential for producing low-cost energy that can be used widely and commercially.

IBM has eliminated all known uses of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoro octanoic acid (PFOA) from its microprocessor manufacturing processes as of January 2010, becoming the first in the industry to announce elimination of these two compounds.

In 2009, IBM saved 1,346 metric tons of packaging material through 60 projects worldwide, delivering annual cost savings of $9.3 million.

In 2009, IBM’s product end-of-life management (PELM) operations worldwide processed approximately 41,400 metric tons of end-of-life products and product waste. These PELM operations reused or recycled 95.8 percent of the total amount processed and sent only 0.5 percent to landfills or to incineration facilities for treatment.

IBM has recovered more than 1.7 billion pounds (770,553 metric tons) of product and product waste worldwide from 1995 to year-end 2009.

IBM set new requirements to address sustainability and environmental aspects of its nearly 30,000 suppliers.

Esty Environmental Partners (EEP) and IBM have launched the Sustainability Innovators Working Group, together with 12 other companies, aimed at developing new management tools and models for environmental management and corporate sustainability.

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