The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Thin Edge of the Computer

08 July 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

Cost savings of up to 47% and reduced global warming potential up to 59% are two benefits of computer recycling according to research from a German institute.

Most businesses are used to replacing their old PCs with new ones every three to five years but the latest research may point the way to how organisations can help themselves by converting them to ‘thin clients’

Businesses can cut their desktop management costs by up to 47% and reduce global warming potential by up to 59%, according to research from German scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT). By using a simple piece of IGEL Technology software on a USB stick or disk, old desktop computers and laptops can be converted into thin client devices in just minutes.

A thin client behaves just like an old PC but stores all its information directly on the server, rather than on the device and can be managed and updated more simply than PCs.

When the researchers compared new PCs and notebooks with older devices, which continue to be used after converting them to IGEL software-based thin clients, they found that over a typical three-year period, the software thin clients reduced global warming potential by up to 59% and cut overall costs by up to 47%. For a business with 100 converted computers, this amounts to a saving of £720 per computer.

There is also a significant saving in the greenhouse gas (CO2e) emissions. When the entire life cycle of the desktop device is taken into account from production and manufacture to distribution, operation and recycling/disposal, the institute found that the production of the devices was responsible for a high proportion of the emissions. By continuing to use older devices as converted thin clients they made a ‘significant’ contribution to protecting the climate because they prevented and/or deferred the production of new devices.

"This study is a revelation for businesses and public sector organisations struggling to manage with old PCs on their desktops,” declared Simon Richards, IGEL Technology MD for UK & Ireland. “By using a simple piece of software to convert these devices to a thin client, organisations can save significant costs, management time and help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, this conversion of old PCs is the first simple step to moving to a virtual Cloud or server-based computing infrastructure, which is much more flexible and easier to manage moving forward.”

Picture: Old PCs are being dumped when they could be converted, argues one German institute

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 08 July 2015


Related Articles

Earth Calling on Mobile Upgrades

Smartphones are leaving a disastrous environmental footprint, warns new Greenpeace report released in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress Feb 27. Smartphone...

 Read Full Article
Laptop Legacy - Recycling to Benefit Homeless

A scheme that is claimed will change the lives of hundreds of homeless people will provide them with refurbished laptop computers and training. The Laptops for...

 Read Full Article
Acorn Sustainability Report

Acorn Engineering Group has published its first free Sustainability Report which looks at the environmental and social performance of the business over calendar year...

 Read Full Article
Corporate Societal Impact - What Are The Measures?

A study has examined the methods companies use to measure their impact on society. The Conference Board (with bases in a number of countries) has released a study with...

 Read Full Article
Wake-up and Smell the Environmental Coffee

British Standard for the ‘circular economy’ launched BSI, the business standards company, has launched a new standard for the ‘circular...

 Read Full Article
EIB Bankrolls Welsh Water Whizzos

Welsh Water has reached a key milestone in its drive to cut carbon emissions by ensuring that its sites across Wales and Herefordshire are now powered by green energy....

 Read Full Article
Electric Spells End to ICE Age

Volvo Cars, the Chinese car firm, has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that have only an...

 Read Full Article
The Business Case for Sustainability

Free participative workshops for law firms and professional services to encourage organisations to develop sustainable working practices and manage their carbon footprint...

 Read Full Article
Garbage Guzzler Digests Waste

PKL has taken on the distribution of the Garbage Guzzler, an aerobic waste digester that allows any business that produces organic waste to reduce its costs and waste...

 Read Full Article
Plastics Policies are All at Sea - Changed Pushed by Prince and Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, together with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, have, this week ending May 19, announced the launch of the $2...

 Read Full Article