In response to the growing global demand for digital connectivity, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative has launched a new industry workgroup that will develop energy efficiency targets and best practices for networking technologies. This expanded focus of the organization will include improving the energy efficiency of networking equipment such as routers, switches and connected devices that power everything from the Internet to mobile technologies.

The Networking Workgroup brings together new and existing leadership from the global tech community, including companies such as Cisco, CompTIA, Emerson Network Power, Finisar, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, and Sony Electronics.

A study of electricity use in commercial and residential buildings conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2008 concluded that networking equipment used 18 billion KWh in the U.S. alone. While the energy use of networking equipment is currently only a small percentage of overall building and computing energy use, it is expected to grow by more than 6 percent per year as the number of networking devices in use by consumers and enterprises increases.

Climate Savers Computing estimates that the global IT industry can negate 38 million metric tons of CO2emissions by 2015 through the development and deployment of more energy efficient networking equipment worldwide. That is equivalent to $5 billion in energy cost savings and 51 billion KWh in energy savings, enough to avoid the use of more than nine coal-fired power plants.

"Climate Savers Computing continues to identify new areas for increasing energy efficiency in IT equipment,” said Lorie Wigle, general manager of the Eco-Technology Program Office for Intel Corporation and president of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. “Our expansion into networking is designed to address and reduce the environmental and economic impact of the devices and systems by developing and deploying global standards that will provide enhanced design, delivery, and adoption of high efficiency electronics."

Research has shown that a workplace can reduce its energy use by more than 10 percent through conservation practices and networking efficiency measures. Networking has emerged as a significant driver for helping enterprises save money by lowering their energy costs. For businesses, reducing networking energy use will help realize efficiencies and cut operational costs as well as decrease environmental impact.

The workgroup’s charter specifies that the organization will:
  • Leverage current industry metrics to develop targets and best practices that significantly advance the energy efficiency of networking devices for both the enterprise and service provider segments
  • Work to increase commercial awareness and adoption of higher efficiency networking equipment technology, standards and best practices
  • Utilize the power of the networking device results to advance end-to-end network energy efficiency
"The Networking Workgroup has established the goals and roadmap for achieving criteria that will guide and advance the development and deployment of energy efficient networking devices and practices in both the enterprise and service provider segments,” said Oliver Tavakoli, CTO of Juniper’s Service Layer Technology Business Group. “The ultimate goal of the Networking Workgroup is to help advance end-to-end network energy efficiency through the commercial adoption of higher efficiency networking equipment."

Following its initial phases, the Networking Workgroup will turn its focus to the energy efficiency of network communication with connected devices in home and business environments. The workgroup will also develop alliances with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other key stakeholders to formalize networking energy efficiency criteria.

Since the founding of CSCI in 2007, the global IT industry has reduced annual CO2emissions by more than 32 million metric tons through the deployment of PC and desktop power management and high efficiency computing equipment.