|February 13, 2009|
Universities Worldwide Challenged to Power Down for the Planet to Reduce CO2 Emissions
(PORTLAND, Ore.)—Colleges and universities around the world will be challenged to make a dent in pollution by powering down campus computers in a new global challenge. Climate Savers Computing Initiative, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, is organizing the challenge and inviting higher education institutions to take part.
One winning university will be selected internationally based on the highest percentage of on-campus staff, student and faculty pledges toward use of computer power management tools. Six founding universities of the campaign include: Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, University of California at San Diego, University of Iowa and University of Michigan. The deadline to enter the competition is March 13, 2009.
“The Power Down for the Planet program is designed to educate and engage college students on a large scale about their computer power consumption and how that affects the environment,” said Pat Tiernan, executive director of Climate Savers Computing Initiative, an international nonprofit organization committed to reducing IT-related waste by half by 2010. “College students in the U.S. alone can collectively make a one million-ton reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by better managing their computers.”
Benefits for Participating Universities: Dollars and Sense
Universities benefit by seeing real savings through lower energy bills and by producing fewer harmful emissions that lead to climate change. A university with 70,000 networked computers can save about $3 million per year just by activating power management features on all of its computers. That’s the equivalent of removing 4,500 cars from the road for an entire year. Nationally, by enabling power saving features on desktop personal computers (PCs), college students could collectively contribute to annual savings of more than $150 million in energy costs.
Additional benefits for universities joining Power Down for the Planet challenge include fostering student involvement, demonstrating eco-leadership and fighting climate change.
What It Takes to Power Down
To participate, interested universities can visit www.climatesaverscomputing.org/university. By participating in the Initiative, the university will automatically become a Climate Savers Computing Initiative member and pledge driver with the EPA’s Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR campaign. Participating universities agree to make a commitment to use power management on university-owned PCs and agrees to incorporate energy efficiency criteria for future PC and server purchases. University interest and engagement can range from sustainability coordinators to the chief information officer to the president’s office. For more information or to discuss membership options, please contact
Countdown to Earth Day
March 13 is the deadline for schools to sign up to participate in the Power Down for the Planet challenge. The contest is twofold: A viral video component begins March 2 for students, and a university-wide pledge challenge begins March 23. Student video winners, as well as one university pledge drive winner, will be announced Earth Day — April 22.
Competing schools will be featured on the Climate Savers Computing’s Power Down for the Planet Web site at www.powerdownfortheplanet.org , where each university will have its own pledge page. Because schools vary by size, a winner is determined by the largest percentage of the campus community who has made a commitment. This head-to-head competition relies on students and faculty to rally and engage others on campus to make the pledge.
The video contest calls for students to create the best video that helps tell the Climate Savers Computing story about power management. The winning student videos will be judged based on a combination of content and relevance. Students will win prizes, and their stories will be part of a global video campaign designed to help expose students to ideas from around the world.
The Power Down for the Planet Web site also offers downloadable materials, online widgets and e-mail notifications to help promote the challenge.
About Climate Savers Computing
The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is a nonprofit group of eco-conscious consumers, businesses and conservation organizations dedicated to reducing the energy consumption of computers. Nearly 300 companies and organizations have joined the Initiative since its launch in June 2007, and thousands of individuals have pledged their support. The Initiative is led by Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, and World Wildlife Fund. Sponsors include Acer, AMD, Delta Electronics, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Intuit, Lite-On, NEC, Sun and Supermicro.
For more information and to pledge your support, visit
Media contacts: Christine Vrem-Ydstie, EnviroMedia on behalf of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, 503-327-8031