Enterprise Rent-A-Car expects a move from PCs to HP thin clients will cut energy consumption by 5 million kilowatt-hours, save about $500,000 annually, and reduce CO2 emissions by 6.5 million pounds per year, Computerworld reports.
The network of more than 45,000 thin client terminals – operated through 743 terminal servers – connects Enterprise rental offices throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Puerto Rico.
Thin clients use only 13.6 watt-hours and 2.4 watt-hours of electricity in active and passive states, respectively, compared with the 77.1 watt-hours and 1.8 watt-hours consumed by PCs.
Six months ago, the company set up a committee specifically to evaluate the environmental and energy-usage ramifications of IT purchases and also used a Green Grid metric to measure IT power consumption.
Enterprise found that in the data center, IT equipment only accounted for 40% of the energy used – the rest was consumed by air handlers, cooling systems and uninterruptible power supplies.
By turning off unused equipment and better managing its cooling processes, the company increased that percentage to 44%.
Enterprise isn’t the only company switching to thin clients. Verizon Wireless has deployed thin client solutions in 17 of its call centers. Power consumption test results performed by local power companies for two call centers in Irvine, Calif., and Chandler, Ariz., found energy savings ranged from 50 to 60 percent.
The choice of thin clients over PCs on the business desktop has reduced CO2 emissions in Western Europe by 166,000 tonnes in 2007 – equivalent to the emissions of more than 540 return flights from London to New York, according to research carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany for IGEL Technology, a thin client vendor.
In April, Enterprise Fleet Management launched an environmental initiative geared to help businesses better manage vehicle emissions – the company will match a portion of each customer’s greenhouse gas offset purchase, up to a total match of $1 million. It also has an offset program aimed at consumers.
Enterprise, Hertz and Avis are adding thousands of fuel-efficient hybrid cars to their fleets.