Carbon Footprint: What Is It & Why Should Businesses Care?

Our ecological awareness as a global community has been steadily growing over recent decades. In the early 1990’s the term “ecological footprint” was coined, measuring the impact our actions have on Earth’s ecosystems, and from it came the “carbon footprint”. Carbon footprint refers more specifically to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the actions of an individual, a household, or a corporation. These gas emissions, scientifically known as CO2e, are responsible for global climate changes, and the actions which produce them include the use of electricity, transportation, and basically any form of fuel burning.

 

Popular and feasible ways to reduce these emissions include:

  • carpooling, which cuts the number of fuel burning cars on the road;
  • using solar heating resources, to reduce the use of electricity or oil based heating systems;
  • purchasing energy-saving models of appliances and office equipment, with the Energy Star seal of approval (computers, LCD monitors, photocopiers and printers carrying this seal are available);
  • cultivating a recycling program within the office (and encouraging employees to do so at home);
  • cutting household and organizational electricity consumption by using timers, energy-efficient light bulbs, and implementing an overall “shut down” approach to energy-run appliances and machinery when they are not in use.

 

Implementing these practices doesn’t only help on a global scale, they are also beneficial to the individuals and organizations implementing them, as saving energy means cutting costs as well. And when we’re talking about businesses, specifically medium to large companies using great amounts of electricity, implementing eco-friendly practices can result in substantial savings.

 

As mentioned, a general “shut down” approach would be ideal for saving energy and reducing a company’s carbon footprint, but this all-or-nothing approach isn’t always a feasible one. One of the main energy guzzling components within an organization is its computer network, which could include dozens to hundreds of computers. Simply shutting down these computers at the end of the day isn’t an option, as nighttime is the ideal time for IT teams to perform maintenance tasks; in addition, employees may want to be able to access their office desktop computers remotely from home, and so they leave them on at the end of the day. And while nighttime would be the obvious time to shutdown these computers and save electricity, what about during the day? Throughout the workday, a workstation may be unmanned for long periods of time, be it for a lunchbreak or a meeting, and this time also accounts for wasted energy use. For these reasons, implementing a smart PC Power Management system across the network is imperative. An efficient PC Power Management system (like PowerPlug Pro) will not only address the abovementioned scenarios, but also help an organization further optimize its related energy consumption by identifying peaks and usage trends, and enabling the company to power down individual computers at different given times, according to usage history, resulting in lower costs and of course – an important step towards reducing the organization’s carbon footprint.

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