Five tips for low-energy business computing

By Robert L. Mitchell, Computerworld |  Green IT

Consolidating and better managing printers, scanners and other peripherals
also saves energy and money. According to Forrester, an individual copier, printer
and fax machine can consume 1,400 kWh of power annually, while a multifunction
printer (MFP) consumes half that.

Multifunction printer devices, which combing copying, printing, scanning and
fax, offer additional efficiencies, making consumables management easier and
saving space as well as energy. Consolidating just two devices into a single
machine, for example, cuts energy consumption by about 40%, according to HP.
Terremark uses MFPs in conjunction with j2 Global Communications Inc.'s eFax
service, which routes incoming faxes to an e-mail in-box instead of to a printer.

But while MFP sales are growing at double-digit rates, many businesses still
have an array of printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines that remain largely
unmanaged. "For every MFP out there, there are [still] six or seven printers,"
says IDC analyst Keith Kmetz. By 2011, however, IDC expects the ratio to be
closer to one to three.

While there's no one-size-fits-all solution for energy-efficient computing,
the best options will be those that complement the business by simplifying processes,
making staff more efficient and serving the customer better, says Verizon Wireless'
Waghray.

While green isn't necessarily the goal, he says, it is a means to those ends.
The best way to begin, he says, is to "start to think about [green computing]
as something that's pretty much part and parcel of what you're doing anyway."

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