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Fujitsu Completes Green Life Cycle Assessment for Selected Products
Successful analysis of ESPRIMO desktop PC and selected PRIMERGY server products
The aim of the project was to identify and develop means of precisely analyzing the real emission value of products. Fujitsu wants to understand the ecological footprint of its products as part of the company's green strategy. Its goal is to reduce the CO2 emissions during the entire product life cycle (cradle to grave) of the products, as well as helping the company to innovate more environmentally-conscious products. Fujitsu will also share the results and experiences from this project to support its customers in their future projects to lower their own CO2 emissions.
The idea that «green» technology is the same thing as energy-efficient technology is still widespread, even among IT manufacturers. But energy efficiency is only one of the many aspects influencing the calculation of the ecological footprint. Generally, the CO2 footprint in CO2 equivalents (CO2e) is summed up throughout the complete life cycle of a product - from idea conception, through to recycling. That includes the production of raw materials as well as the manufacturing of the supplier components, transport, assembly, use phase, and disposal or recycling. For example, the desktop PC ESPRIMO E9900 0-Watt and PRIMERGY TX300 / RX300 S5 servers include the corresponding LCAs for mouse, keyboard, manual and packaging in LCA calculations. The calculation itself is done on the basis of a typical life cycle for products in this group.
Obstacle: International Standardization Until now, the calculation of a comparable and absolute value for the CO2 footprint was not possible due to methodological difficulties and missing international standards. In this respect, Fujitsu is one of the drivers within the industry. The company is in contact with partners, suppliers and competitors to establish and use common standards. Initiatives like Fujitsu's PCF project are an important step on a long road to comparable emission calculations. They allow helpful insights into the discharge of emissions throughout the complete value chain. This way, the company can identify future possibilities for reduction:
- Optimized use of energy and raw materials in the production process, as well as adopting alternative raw materials with a lower environmental impact
- Reduction in transport emissions resulting from the changing to rail and ship
- Reuse and recycling of products and components in the Fujitsu Recycling Center in Paderborn and worldwide
- Development and provision of energy-efficient power supply units and products for the customer
- Optimal configuration of the main memory, graphics and energy options
- Use of energy-efficient ICT products (consider certificates such as «Blue Angel» and «Energy Star»)
Fujitsu's Environmental Initiatives
For many years Fujitsu has been involved in projects and initiatives dedicated to identifying the company's own emission values and possible improvement measures. Fujitsu pursues a dual strategy: On the one hand, the company concentrates on innovating environmentally-conscious IT products («Green IT»). Fujitsu's product and service portfolio already includes numerous «green» elements such as energy-efficient notebook models, the 0-watt PC and 0-Watt monitor, energy-efficient server and storage systems, plus assessment services for energy efficiency improvements in data centers. At the same time, Fujitsu develops solutions which can help other companies or even entire industries to specifically use IT for more environmentally-conscious infrastructures («Green by IT»), for example in the traffic- or facility-management sector.
In 2007, the Fujitsu Group launched its «Green Policy Innovation» program, which helped to reduce CO2 emissions in Japan by an additional seven million tons. In 2009, Fujitsu expanded the project worldwide and is currently planning to reduce CO2 emissions for an additional 15 million tons worldwide by 2012. The new global approach is a milestone on the way to the completion of Fujitsu's medium term vision, the Green Policy 2020.
Furthermore, Fujitsu is listed as number one in two out of five categories in the recent environmental study of the independent IT industry analysts Gartner and the WWF on «Low-Carbon and Environmental Leadership in the ICT Industry 2010». The largest independent study ever conducted analyzes the environmental endeavors of companies with a worldwide sustainability strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gases for ITC products.
Armin Kumpf, Senior Director Quality Management at Fujitsu Technology Solutions:
«For many years Fujitsu has researched the factors that have a lasting impact on our ecological foot print. However, to be able to compare and label products with regard to their CO2 emissions, we need international standards and a solid data basis for such comparisons.»
Dr. Siegfried Kreibe, Director at the Environmental Institute bifa:
«The way computers influence the environment depends less on their production, but mostly on their use. This is when the majority of greenhouse emissions are being produced. Fujitsu's distinctive willingness to invest in the analysis of its products via a life cycle assessment has greatly impressed us.»
Karsten Schischke, Senior Researcher and LCA Expert at the Fraunhofer Institute:
«We had lively discussions in our project meetings about the combined effects of the technical requirements and the environmental impacts of these products. This is exactly the purpose behind the evaluation of the CO2 footprint: to measure the various components, and reduce their environmental impact. I believe that Fujitsu's employees are inspired by the project in their daily engineering work, despite the fact that «Green IT» is not new for Fujitsu at all.»
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