By Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

In a three-year span, companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. and Intel Corp. have helped cut emissions linked to the IT sector by about 32 million metric tons, according to a study released by Natural Logic.

Silicon Valley computer, chip maker and server companies that have been part of the emissions-cutting effort include San Jose-based Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Santa Clara-based Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Mountain View-baed Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ).

The results are part of a study conducted by Portland-based Natural Logic to assess the progress of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative's goal of reducing annual CO2 emissions from the IT sector by 54 million metric tons by June 2011.

The initiative, formed in 2007, is an international coalition led by local companies along with Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the World Wildlife Fund to reduce the environmental impact of new and emerging IT equipment through energy efficiency.

This new research shows that annual CO2 emissions from IT equipment have decreased by 32 million to 36 million metric tons worldwide since 2007. This amount is equivalent to taking nine coal-fired power plants offline and is equal to more than $2 billion in annual energy savings. Additionally, the research shows that the IT sector is on target to achieve Climate Savers Computing Initiative's reduction goal by the end of its 2010 fiscal year in June 2011.

"When CSCI was established in 2007, desktop computers wasted 50 percent of the power coming from the wall," says Lorie Wigle, general manager of the Eco-Technology Program Office for Intel Corp. and president of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. "Today, through the collective efforts of our organization, hardware manufacturers, large IT buyers, and other key partners, the IT sector has cut that waste by at least 25 percent for new systems."

Going forward, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative will leverage the expertise and leadership of its founding board of directors with that of new board members including Sunnyvale-based Juniper Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:JNPR) as the organization expands its focus to include commercial and home networking systems and devices.

"As the number of networked devices continues to rise, the energy demands on networks and networking equipment will increase in step. With this growth, there is significant energy and cost savings potential," said Bill Weihl, green energy czar at Google Inc. and Climate Savers Computing board member.

As part of this expansion, commercial and residential routers and switches, commercial WLAN, and security and access devices will be incorporated into the organization's environmental mission, with the goal of reducing annual CO2 emissions by an additional 38 million metric tons by 2015. This is the equivalent of $5 billion in annual energy cost savings.

According to research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the energy used by commercial and residential buildings' networking systems and devices will increase by roughly 6 percent annually without a focused effort to improve their energy efficiency. "We hope to reverse this trend, and we think we can," said Wigle. "Our research shows that, with the adoption of conservation and efficiency measures on networking equipment, a commercial or residential building's energy use can be reduced by more than 10 percent."

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