Ford switches off computers and saves big

Ford has estimated it will save $1.2 million and slash its carbon footprint by 16,000-25,000 metric tons annually by simply shutting down its staff computers when not in use (such as overnight and weekends) and controlling power saving options centrally.

This is another example showing that simple green actions do count and it’s always nice to be able to report on a major car manufacturer making inroads into not just making its vehicles more fuel efficient, but also greening other areas of its operations.

Ford discovered that 60 percent of the company’s PC users weren’t shutting their PCs off at the end of the business day, resulting in wasted energy, so it developed “Power Profiles” for each PC in the company. Each PC monitors its usage patterns and determines when it can be turned off. If someone is working back late, he or she will be warned of the approaching shut down and be able to delay it.

Additionally, if someone knocks off for the day but doesn’t shut down the computer and still has work in progress, if the application being used is a Microsoft Office product, any open documents will be saved before shutting down.

Ford developed the system using NightWatchman software from 1E Inc. According to research from 1E, Ford’s computer users are by no means unique in their computing habits as half of all employees who use computers at work typically do not power them down at the end of the working day. The company says over $2.8 billion in PC power is being wasted every year in the USA alone.

So based on Ford saying they’ll save a cool 1.2 million bucks and avoid at least 16,000 tons of emissions – if the problem was addressed nationally, something so simple could avoid around 32 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions!

Little green actions, when multiplied, certainly do add up!

You don’t necessarily need something as whizz-bang as NightWatchman to lighten your computing environmental footprint. Learn more about greening your computer use.

Read more of the Ford announcement.