More Green ICT perspectives on companies in this post: Acer - Apple - Asus - Brother - Canon - Casio - Cisco - Dell - Epson - Ericsson - Fujitsu - HP - Hitachi - IBM - Intel - Lenovo - LG - Microsoft - Motorola - NEC - Nintendo - Nokia - Oracle - Panasonic - Philips - Quanta - Samsung - Sharp - Siemens - Sony - Toshiba - Wipro

Who Offers Greenest Servers?

The availability of ENERGY STAR servers has increased dramatically since we first looked in 2015, but there has been little increase over 2017. Over twenty companies offer qualified models: 249 in the United States and 229 in Canada.

EPEAT lists servers for the first time, but its more comprehensive environmental assessment shows servers have a long way to go.

Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett Packard offer the most ENERGY STAR models: 60+ each from Dell and from Lenovo and 40+ from Hewlett Packard.

The updated ENERGY STAR server listings offer improved search capabilities, allowing for filtering by company, country, and five technical criteria.

ENERGY STAR only looks at electricity use and is not a comprehensive sustainability assessment. EPEAT now offers such a program, WITH 40+ CRITERIA. The result is fewer units (e.g., 33 in the United States and 19 in Canada) WITH none certified Silver or Gold. It does have a total of 185 Bronze units, spanning nine countries. All models are from Dell or Hewlett Packard.

None of the other organizations from whom we source our "Greenest" information qualify servers.


Enterprise Servers
Small Scale Servers
The information is distributed across two disconnected sections on the ENERGY STAR site: Enterprise Servers and Small Scale Servers. The site reports 150 models available in the United States and 131 in Canada.

Users looking to purchase green PCs and monitors should reference EPEAT. EPEAT qualified products comply with a wide range of green criteria in addition to ENERGY STAR. You can access information about EPEAT Gold products through the top three "Greenest E-Gear" links on the right.

Some have evaluated ENERGY STAR - Computer Servers 1.0 a "good first step" but conclude the requirements "have enough shortcomings that they are unsuitable to be primary criteria for the purchase of new hardware equipment." Version 2.0 is in progress, but without a target completion date.

EPA's case study "Energy Savings From ENERGY STAR-Qualified Servers" concludes:

Our findings imply that..the energy savings from a single ENERGY STAR-qualified server could range from $60 (at 50% utilization) to $120 (at idle) annually, or $240-$480 over the useful life of a server (4 years).
...ENERGY STAR-qualified servers substantially reduce cooling loads in data centers. A general rule of thumb suggests that one watt saved by a server has the added benefit of saving one to two watts of cooling power. This yields a total savings of between $480 and $1,440 over the useful lifetime of a server.
...these power savings come with a substantial increase in performance—at 50% utilization, for example, the newer, more energy-efficient server handles over three times the workload, thereby reducing the number of systems needed to support the same load.
Our data suggests that a single ENERGY STAR-qualified server saves enough electricity to avert nearly 1/2 to 1 ton of carbon dioxide emissions, based on the assumptions stated above. Accounting for cooling savings makes it a total of 1 to 3 tons of carbon dioxide abated.

It is important to remember that power consumption is not the only criteria for choosing the greenest server. Apple offers a good example in its environmental report for the Mac mini, the platform for OS X Server. It shows that only 30% of life-cycle CO2e, which is tied to power consumption, comes from customer use. The Apple report also examines material use, including RoHS substances, and packaging. Purchasers need to consider all these factors .