GE Brings Corporate Sustainability to Life

 
 
By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 2009-02-25
 
 
 

See related article, Building an Energy-Efficient IT Infrastructure

Many companies talk a good game when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability, but General Electric is building these concepts into its corporate DNA. The firm’s Ohio-based data center—which includes 29,000 square feet of raised floors and more than 3,900 data systems—consumes approximately 24 million kilowatts of power annually.

In order to curb energy usage and lower its carbon footprint, GE has turned to systems that monitor and manage power quality, water and lighting, electrical consumption, security and IT services equipment. It has a dashboard that enables the firm to drill down to the sensor level and view real-time usage patterns, and has metrics for measuring progress.

GE has already trimmed more than 11 percent of the annual energy used for cooling, has slashed water consumption by 2 million to 3 million gallons a year (about 20 percent) and has reduced demand at water treatment plants by 50 percent. Overall, GE is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent and water consumption by 20 percent by 2012.

“Many businesses are literally running out of power for their data centers,” says Greg Simpson, GE’s CTO. “By making our utility systems more efficient, we can use that power to add additional compute capacity to our data center without investing in all the capital equipment required to bring more power into the data center.”