HP: Reward IT managers for green thinking

PC maker has introduced a range of energy-efficient PCs and committed to cutting its own energy usage by 20 percent

HP is getting behind all things sustainable and green, including the idea that IT managers should be given budget incentives to improve IT efficiency.

Speaking in connection with the launch of a range of HP energy-efficient PCs, which the company claims could be more than 45 percent more efficient than existing systems, Todd Kruse, HP business desktop product manager, said it was important that IT managers should be given incentives for buying energy-saving products.

"Looking at the idea of power increasingly becoming a cost centre for businesses, then chief information officers need to make sure that they are being compensated for any investments they make in energy-efficient PCs or they will have no incentive to buy this kind of kit," he said.

Kruse explained that energy-efficient hardware was often more expensive than commoditised equipment and that this would have to be allowed for in IT budgets. But if the IT department managed to lower its power costs as a result, these savings should be included in subsequent IT budgets.

The energy-efficient machines introduced by HP are the HP Compaq dx2250 and dx2300 desktops. The dx2250, which retails for around £229, comes with a 64-bit AMD Athlon X2 dual-core processor and features HP's Cool'n'Quiet technology, which the vendor claims reduces processor heat and makes for a quieter work environment.

Interestingly, the dx2250 supports Windows XP as well as Windows Vista. The fact that customers can load XP onto the machine will please some critics of Vista who claim the operating system is extremely power hungry. Microsoft has refuted these claims and last week released a survey investigating Vista's in-built energy efficiency.

The dx2300 microtower, which retails for around £319, is available with a full range of Intel processors including the power-efficient Core 2 Duo, the PC maker claimed.

Two notebook machines, the HP Compaq 6715s and 6717b, were also launched and retail for £641 and £928 respectively.

HP also announced on Wednesday that it has set itself an ambitious target for reducing its energy use over the next three years by 20 percent, which will affect its manufacturing and day-to-day operations.

In a statement, the company claimed that it planned to ship more energy-efficient products to customers and improve the way it manages energy internally.

"Sustainability should span the entire business, from product reuse and recycling, to a socially and environmentally responsible supply chain, to energy efficiency in products and internal operations — it's the whole package," said Pat Tiernan, vice president, corporate, social and environmental responsibility at HP.

According to HP, in 2006 the company purchased 11 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy for use in its operations. HP also joined the US Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Purchase programme — a challenge to Fortune 500 companies to double the renewable energy they purchased by the end of 2007.

HP also established a global joint initiative with the US World Wildlife Fund to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operating facilities worldwide.

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