Nedbank's Green Power Management System aims to reduce the company’s carbon footprint

Submitted by: Tholakele Nene, Monday, August 19, 2013

<p>The Power Management system encourages Nedbank staff to take control of their individual computer’s power usage by offering them the choice of choosing a power management profile when they log in to their computer (Image Source: Nedbank).</p>

The Power Management system encourages Nedbank staff to take control of their individual computer’s power usage by offering them the choice of choosing a power management profile when they log in to their computer (Image Source: Nedbank).

Nedbank has launched a Green Power Management System aimed at reducing the power consumption of company computers and thereby contributing to a reduction in the company’s yearly carbon emissions.

According to Kevin Kassel, a Nedbank representative, the project is estimated to reduce carbon emissions generated from computers by approximately 5 million CO2e which is equivalent to “taking 1,800 cars of the road each year” and “will dramatically reduce the power consumption rate of approximately 8 million kilowatt hours a year.”

“In our calculations we estimate to save about 131 kWh’s per year, per workstation and about 11.94 kWh’s per laptop per annum. Ideally we are looking at saving at least 5.2 million carbon emissions after the full implementation of the project”, he adds. It is also estimated that through this initiative the project will save Nedbank in the region of R2.2- R3.5 million a year.

The Green Power Management System

The Green Power Management System involves setting individual computers to switch to a standby or low power mode when not in use rather than the usual idle or screensaver mode and thereby reducing the amount of energy consumed. Colin Wheater, Divisional Executive of Group Technology’s Infrastructure & Operations Division, explains, “when not in use, computers will be in a state of standby or low power, as opposed to the previous ‘idle’ or ‘screensaver’ mode, which, despite the name, still uses approximately 30% of electricity.”

The system encourages staff to take control of their individual computer’s power usage by offering them the choice of choosing a power management profile when they log in to their computer. “Staff members are prompted by a pop up on their screens to select the power management profile that best suits them,” explains Kassel. Staff have a few profiles to choose from which differ according to the time period that the computer will switch to a standby or low power mode when not in use. The greener options are those that switch to a standby or low power mode in the shortest time and staff have the flexibility of changing between different profiles.  There is also an “Opt out” option where no power management profile is selected. In cases where the “Opt out” option is selected the user is required to provide reasons as to why they haven’t implemented any of the settings.

As the programme has been implemented on individual staff computers staff are able to monitor their individual consumption and carbon savings. All Nedbank desktops and laptops have this system with the exception of the call centre and the capital areas currently, “because of their work profile,” notes Kassel, “Further optimisation of the power profiles are being investigated to be able to accommodate these areas”.

The project was implemented in July 2013 and is in line with Nedbank’s “Green IT” initiatives and sustainability objectives which also encourage the reduction of energy consumption and operational costs while encouraging social responsibility, explains Kassel.

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Tholakele Nene