According to the report An Inefficient Truth issued by the Global Action Plan on the first day of the climate conference in Bali, “Our daily use of computers seriously threatens the climate: a server pollutes as much as SUV’s, or even as much as the entire global aircraft industry”. Computers in fact are responsible for around 2% of all the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Today the vast majority of office workers use computers; even if they say that they are aware of the pollution they are generating, they are nonetheless unaware of the effective energy cost involved in computer use and the impact it has on the environment.
The personal computers we use daily consume an enormous amount of electricity, polluting the planet when they are fully in use and even when they are switched off. A normal computer on average uses about 300 Watts, or 0.3 KW, which, multiplied by the hours in one day, the days in a year and the average cost of 0.25 euro per KWh, means that it consumes on average 900 KWh a year, for an annual cost of around 225 euro.
Here at Unicusano we are well aware of the problem, and we have taken the decision to replace our personal computers with others that have a low energy consumption. These new computers have operating systems that are easily updated, thus avoiding their replacement after only a few years in use. The MSI micro PC’s have a wattage of only 40W and consume only 120 KWh a year, with an annual cost of 30 euro. In this way, the university can cut down on its energy consumption and thus not only gain a substantial saving in economic terms, but also avoid damaging the environment.