Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Energy Procurement, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Utilities, Sourcing Renewables  -  August 1, 2017

IBM cuts annual energy use by 5.3%

In 2016, IBM made significant strides in reducing its energy use and carbon emissions through a series of energy conservation projects that delivered annual savings equal to 5.3% of its total energy use, according to its newly released 2016 sustainability report.

Overall, compared to its 2005 baseline, the technology company has slashed its carbon emissions by 38.1%. In 2016 alone, helped by the implementation of more than 2,000 energy conservation projects, IBM saw an estimated savings of $50.7 million, according to the report.

The company surpassed its 2016 energy saving goal of 3.5% in achieving that 5.3% reduction and implemented more than 2,000 energy conservation projects. The projects resulted in electricity savings of 190,000 MWh and carbon emissions savings of 83,000 metric tons, IBM says.

Out of all its 2016 energy conservation projects, 50% were related to its data centers, followed by 15% focused on HVAC systems. Two new data centers in Belgium were designed for a power usage effectiveness of 1.3, a 30% improvement over the data centers receiving replacements. According to the report, 50% of the power used for data centers comes from renewable sources.

In 2016, IBM implemented 344 projects related to cooling efficiency and reduced cooling energy use by nearly 25,800 MWh, saving more than $2.6 million.

The projects included the “installation of thousands of blanking panels, wall panels between racks, cable cutout plugs and cold aisle containment systems, reducing the mixing of hot and cold air and increasing cooling efficiency,” the report states. ”For the period 2011-2016, IBM increased the average raised floor temperature by more than 2.5 degrees Celsius by shutting down CRACs and rebalancing data center airflow.”

In other energy efficiency projects, IBM’s Real Estate Strategy and Operations performed almost 7,000 energy conservation projects over the past three years, saving $81 million and implemented analytics technologies to increase energy efficiency, according to the report

The analytic technologies include the “IBM TRIRIGA Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Manager” in 145 buildings, delivering $5 million in cost savings; and chilled water optimization software at its seven largest U.S. sites, which the company said is delivering $2 million per year in savings.

In 2016, IBM also reports that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 38.1% from 2005 baseline. The company achieved this reduction by designing and updating data centers to optimize their energy use, purchasing more energy from renewable sources, ensuring the reduction of emissions within its supply chain, managing business travel and increasing the efficiency of its logistics operations.

The tech company also increased the amount of renewable energy purchased to run its operations in 2016. Out of the 3.6 million MWh of total electricity consumed, 19.1% came from grid-supplied renewable energy and 21.5% came from 783,000 MWh of contracted renewables purchased, according to the report.

Tags: IBM
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