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Efficient computer use can help save the llanet

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Our use of PCs and other IT products has a significant impact on the climate. The impact worldwide equals that of the entire aviation sector. A more efficient use of IT products and climate friendly purchases of new equipment could reduce the climate impact by more than 80%, according to a new study by TCO Development.

"The 1-billion computer monitors that are in use all over the world generate 53-million tons of CO2, and need as much electric power as the yearly consumption of Sweden (10-million citizens). This clearly shows that the use of IT products has a negative impact on the environment, but also that by changing the way we use these products, we can be part of the solution," says Haakan Nordin, project manager for climate and environment at TCO Development.
TCO Development lists three easy steps that everyone can take, and that taken together could reduce the climate impact from computers with more than 80%.
* Choose computer equipment based on power consumption in active mode. An energy efficient desktop PC uses up to 65 per cent less energy than a standard desktop PC. If energy efficient notebooks are compared with advanced desktop PCs used for CAD/CAM the difference is over 1 000%.
* Activate energy settings on your computer – 65% of the CO2 emissions are attributed to computers that are not turned off or do not have energy save functions activated. The simplest solution is to use notebook computer settings, even when using a desktop.
* Turn off your computer when not in use. User studies show that an average office computer is turned on, but not in use, more than 50% of the time.
"If we change our ways of using IT equipment, and make full use of all the environmental features of this technology we can reduce CO2 emissions without any impact on our daily lives," comments Nordin.