Collaborating in the Name of Energy Efficiency

No company is an island. When it comes to issues such as energy efficiency, although individual companies can make significant achievements on their own, no one operates in a vacuum. At a certain point, greater progress demands engagement with the wider world.

At Dell, we’ve been involved in this type of collaboration for years through industry consortiums. One of them is The Green Grid (TGG), a global association of IT professionals working together to advance greater energy efficiency in enterprise computing and to promote harmonization of efficiency metrics. Launched in early 2007, the organization has so far focused mainly on the data center.

The Green Grid offers a number of resources to the enterprise computing community, including:

  • Rich online library of white papers
  • Online courses and Webinars
  • Energy-efficiency reporting database

Collaborating with standards bodies, technical organizations and government institutions worldwide, TGG members hone and promote the widespread adoption of a metric known as power usage effectiveness (PUE), which measures how effectively data centers use electricity from the power grid.

The concepts behind this metric may sound straightforward, but the details are more complex. How exactly does one take these measurements, and how often? What if multiple energy sources — electric, natural gas, water — are involved? How and with what frequency should they be reported?

Dell has devoted significant time and energy to help answer exactly these kinds of questions. Our most important contribution to TGG has been the time of Dell subject-matter experts, who provide focus, organization and a sense of urgency to produce open and capable energy-efficiency standards. Dell participants also:

  • Contribute to TGG’s technical initiatives
  • Manage a number of committees, work groups and task forces
  • Play an active role in TGG’s board of directors

Not only do these efforts broaden our perspective, but they give us a chance to share our expertise for the greater good.

By working together with our competitors and other stakeholders in neutral forums, we can effect greater changes in our industry than any single company would be able to accomplish. The end result is a net win for everyone involved: reduced energy consumption and a lower impact on the planet we all share.