The Carbon Footprint of Your Tech Equipment

To truly understand the environmental impact of your office equipment, you must consider many factors including energy use, materials, and recyclability.

Even if their original goal was simply to reduce their own energy bills, many organizations have moved on to embrace the more global objective of becoming “green” companies. When they set out to purchase IT and office technology products, these organizations look beyond traditional criteria such as list price, speed, and reliability. Also on their evaluation checklists are items such as energy efficiency, sustainability, and carbon footprint. 

Fortunately, making green decisions about server, laptop, printer, and other technology purchases has never been easier. A number of benchmarks and metrics exist to rate the energy characteristics of IT equipment, including Energy Star, EPEAT, Blue Angel, and TPC-Energy. Some technology vendors – such as HP with its HP Carbon Footprint Calculator for printing –offer online calculators to help buyers compare the emissions profiles of different products. And industry consortia such as The Green Grid are working to ensure that future generations of IT products are increasingly energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Once people start looking into the carbon footprint of their technology equipment, they quickly learn that a device’s energy consumption is far from the only factor affecting its environmental impact. Among the many other contributors are the energy and materials used in its manufacture, its transportation from manufacturer to the ultimate consumer, its durability and life expectancy, its consumption of other supplies and resources, and its end-of-life recycling potential.

This broad scope of considerations is reflected in the Design for Environment (DfE) program that HP launched more than 20 years ago. The program’s three priorities are:

  1. Energy efficiency – reducing the energy needed to manufacture and use HP products
  2. Materials innovation – decreasing the amount and weight of materials, as well as the use of harmful materials, in HP products
  3. Design for recyclability – designing equipment that’s easier to upgrade and/or recycle, and that also has more value at end of life

One of the latest proof points of the DfE program’s success is the HP PageWide family of multifunction printers. These high-speed printers use up to 84% less energy than comparable laser printers and generate up to 94% less supplies and packaging waste than their laser counterparts. Overall, business printers using HP PageWide technology can reduce the carbon footprint of printing by up to 55%.

Paying more attention to the carbon footprint of all of their IT and office equipment delivers a win-win for every organization. Going green directly improves their bottom line by reducing energy and other operational costs. It also improves the global environment in which all organizations must operate, and all people must live.

HP PageWide technology — an entirely new category in business printing – empowers efficiency and sustainability through smart technology. For businesses seeking advanced printing solutions, only HP PageWide printers can deliver the fastest speeds, affordable color printing, and at surprisingly lower costs than expected. It all adds up to best-in-class cost of ownership.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.