IBM Sustainability Report: $43M in Energy Costs Saved in 2011
IBM saved $43 million in energy expenses last year, conserving 378,000 MWh of electricity and 326,000 million BTUs of fuel oil and natural gas through hundreds of conservation projects, according to the company’s 2011 corporate responsibility report.
IBM’s energy conservation projects saved the equivalent of 7.4 percent of its total energy use, surpassing its corporate goal of 3.5 percent. These projects also avoided 175,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Since 1990, IBM has saved 5.8 billion kWh of electricity consumption, avoided 3.7 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and saved $442 million through its annual conservation actions.
In 2011, the company completed more than 2,300 energy conservation projects at 364 IBM locations worldwide, including upgrading equipment to reduce electricity use by 14,900 MWh and natural gas use by 2,500 MMBTUs and the installation of efficient lighting systems at 203 locations, which cut electricity use by 16,220 MWh and saved $1.9 million in energy costs, the report says.
IBM also deployed its real-time energy management technology to increase efficiency at 10 of its highest energy consuming facilities. The company plans to add its energy management software to 18 additional locations in 2012.
IBM completed 228 projects at 86 existing data centers to reduce energy use more than 33,700 MWh and save more than $3.8 million. The projects included blocking cable and rack openings, balancing air flow as well as shutting down, upgrading and reprovisioning air flow from computer room air conditioning units. Total savings from these projects are equivalent to the energy use of a 4,000- to 6,000-square-meter IBM strategic data center.
IBM is using virtualization technologies to consolidate multiple workloads from servers and storage systems onto single systems, an effort that reduced energy use 142,000 MWh and saved $16.5 million in 2011 from the previous year. The company has virtualized more than 90,000 applications in its owned and leased data centers over the past three years.
Last month, IBM announced that its collaboration with the Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Germany had developed a hot-water cooled supercomputer that consumes 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine and is 10 times more compact.
IBM cuts its energy-related carbon emissions by 16 percent since its 2005 base year, to 2,182,000 metric tons in 2011. The reduction, which beat out the company’s corporate goal to reduce CO2 emissions associated with its energy use 12 percent between 2005 and 2012, was achieved through conservation projects and purchasing electricity from renewable sources.
In 2011 IBM purchased about 518,000 MWh of renewable energy, representing 10.2 percent of the company’s global electricity use and a CO2 emissions avoidance of 215,000 metric tons. Renewable energy purchases declined by 7.6 percent from 2010 to 2011 due to availability and market conditions, the company said.
IBM reduced the amount of hazardous waste generated from its three microelectronics manufacturing locations by 88 metric tons, or 3.5 percent, year-on-year, according to the 2011 report. The three locations generate more than 90 percent of IBM’s hazardous waste generation attributed to manufacturing.
The year-on-year reduction was achieved by improving process lines at two of the microelectronics manufacturing sites, the report says.
Of the nearly 7,700 metric tons of hazardous waste IBM generated worldwide in 2011, 44 percent was recycled and 36 percent was sent to landfills.
IBM has decreased its total hazardous waste generation by 4,360 metric tons, or 36 percent, in the past five years and by 220,500 metric tons, or 97 percent, since the 1987 base year of this metric, the report says.
In 2011, IBM’s operations generated about 70,000 metric tons of nonhazardous waste, a reduction of 1,100 metric tons, or 1.5 percent, from the previous year. The company reduced its waste through a continued decrease in construction activities at plants and labs in North America.
The reduction was achieved despite a six-percent increase in the end-of-life IT equipment being processed from IBM operations in 2011, over the previous year.
Last year IBM recovered and recycled 78 percent of its nonhazardous waste, exceeding its goal to recycle an average of 75 percent of nonhazardous waste generated at locations managed by the company.
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