With increased use of computers and connected devices, the global dependence on networks is growing at a rapid pace. These networks are made up of systems and devices that need to be kept constantly running in order to be available on-demand. As these networks grow, so do their power consumption and harmful greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.
But we’re working to stop this trend of voracious network power consumption. The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is collaborating with a diverse group of industry leaders to ensure that networking equipment and systems are as energy efficient as possible.
The need for energy efficiency in networking
The popularity of netbooks, mobile devices, home entertainment systems, and other connected gadgets is growing hand-in-hand with reliance on available networks. This phenomenon is happening at home and at work.
With the demand for network connectivity on the rise, more and more networking hardware is being installed to handle the load. And while this growth is a boon to those of us trying to stay connected, it’s also costly in terms of energy and unnecessary CO2 emissions.
If left unchecked, this situation will lead to exponential increases in emissions and energy consumption, on the order of 6 percent annually.1
An opportunity to make an impact
Reducing the amount of energy that network-supporting equipment uses can help enterprises and consumers save money by lowering their energy costs. In fact, through networking conservation and efficiency measures, a workplace or home can reduce its energy use by more than ten percent.1 Our research shows that focusing on power efficiencies for networking equipment has the potential to make a significant global impact.
For businesses, reducing networking energy use will help realize networking efficiencies while reducing environmental impact and cutting operation costs. You might even call it a win-win-win. But, whatever you call it, reducing networking’s impact is definitely an idea whose time has come.
Goals for reducing networking’s impact
The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is collaborating with global leaders in networking to lead the charge in developing industry-wide criteria to set energy efficiency standards for networking equipment. Specifically, our work will help bring to market high efficiency commercial and residential routers and switches, as well as commercial WLAN, security, and access devices.
Based on our research, Climate Savers Computing estimates that the global IT industry can offset 38 million metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2015 through the development and deployment of more energy efficient networking equipment worldwide. That is equivalent to $5 billion in energy cost savings.
So, go ahead and use networks to keep your devices connected. We’ll use our network of industry leaders to make sure networking is as energy efficient as possible.
Read the press release about our expansion into networking.
1S. Lanzisera, B. Nordman, R. Brown, “Data Network Equipment Energy use and Savings Potential in Building,” Proceedings of the ACEEE Summer Study on Buildings, August 2010.
A network is simply a collection of computers and devices that are connected. Networks can be global, like the Internet, or smaller in scale, such as corporate or home networks. Even that Wi-Fi hotspot at your local coffee shop is part of a network.
Much of what we commonly do on computers and cell phones is actually enabled through networking. This includes Web browsing, e-mailing, instant messaging, and using social media. Networks are also handy for sharing a hardware device, such as a printer, or important files among every computer in a home or office setting.
Behind the scenes, networks comprise devices and systems that require electricity. As networks grow, so do the demand for electricity and the resultant energy and environmental costs.