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 Tags

Related Articles

Harrods’ Facilities Team Achieves Paper Towel Sustainability

Harrods, the Knightsbridge luxury department store, has solved one of its biggest FM challenges by diverting tonnes of its used paper hand towels from general...

 Read Full Article
Global Recycling Day 2022 in FM

This year's Global Recycling Day took place on 18 March and celebrated the "recycling fraternity", those who put themselves on the frontline to...

 Read Full Article
EV Demand Drives Progress

The growing versatility of EV fleets and the imminent introduction of airborne variants are pushing infrastructure and technology to new limits. The UK automotive...

 Read Full Article
Cleaning Trends for 2022

Cleaning product manufacturer and distributor Robert Scott has revealed the findings of its latest customer research, identifying the key trends that will dominate the...

 Read Full Article
Plastic Free July – What's Covent Garden Doing?

In a quest for a more sustainable London this Plastic Free July, Covent Garden is making inspiring changes within its facilities. Brands including Aesop, DECIEM,...

 Read Full Article
EV Revolution – Battery Waste Left Behind?

The electric vehicle market is growing at such a rate that we must consider the after-life of their batteries, warn experts. In the race to net zero, lithium ion...

 Read Full Article
Face Mask Disposal Still a High Concern

Litter pickers across the UK are reporting a huge increase in the number of dumped contaminated disposable face masks being spotted during their patrols, as the number of...

 Read Full Article
COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace – What Do Employers Need to Consider?

With businesses interested in conducting their own private workplace coronavirus testing for employees, what do employers need to bear in mind? The government’s...

 Read Full Article
Over 50 Million PPE Masks to UK Landfill Daily

The UK is binning over 53 million disposable face masks every day as a result of unsustainable COVID-19 protection, with reports that many face masks are being...

 Read Full Article
Recycling Technology for Lithium Could Help in Drive Towards EVs

A new and efficient way to recycle lithium from rechargeable batteries may help to meet the upcoming surge in demand for electric vehicles and battery...

 Read Full Article