Canadian company Userful, providers of a computer resource-sharing system that allows up to 10 people to share the resources of a single computer, has announced that in the past year its software has saved 29,000(1) tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 5,000 cars off the road.
Userful desktops have been deployed around the world with a typical configuration of six stations per computer. Modern desktop computers sit idle virtually the entire day while we read or type. Userful leverages this unused computing power to create an environmentally efficient alternative to traditional desktop computing. Up to 10 users can work on a single computer by simply attaching extra monitors, mice and keyboards.
'Computer hardware production and disposal is one of the fastest growing threats to our environment. Powering and cooling computers is an increasing contributor to global warming,' says Timothy Griffin, president of Userful. 'It feels good to help people around the world "go green". In fact, last year our users more than doubled the previous year's savings, meaning that in the last two years Userful technology has eliminated the equivalent CO2 of taking over 7300 cars off the road.'
Reducing the number of computers in use has other earth-friendly benefits, in addition to lowering CO2 emissions. Electronic waste is an increasing global problem due to the rapid obsolescence of electronics. This is compounded by the fact that computer waste contains toxic materials, such as heavy metals and flame-retardant plastics, which easily leach into ground water and bio-accumulate. Using Userful products can reduce electronic waste by up to 80 per cent, further decreasing its environmental footprint.
(1) Based on 526kWh per PC per year for operation; 1818kWh per PC for production; electricity generated at 1.55 lbs of CO2 per kWh; and 11,560 lbs CO2 per car per year