‘An Inefficient Truth’ – the IT industry doesn’t get it

PRESS RELEASE:  6 December, 2007

A British report on the IT industry shows that the billion computers being used world wide account for around 2% of human induced CO2 emissions.

Global Action Plan has released a report titled “An Inefficient Truth” and suggest a “Call for Action” based on its findings.

In 2001 the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) calculated the baseload power consumption of New Zealand homes to be about 10%, or 3% of the national electricity demand at that time. A portion of this baseload is standby electricity consumption of appliances such as fridges, freezers, televisions, breadmakers and computers.

“There is no need for this profligate waste of electricity.” says Alan Liefting, an electronics and computer industry veteran. “It only requires a small number of extra components at a very low cost to make appliances more efficient. In most cases such redesign does not mean any loss in functionality. Computers, monitors, televisions etc. do not need to draw standby power.”

“Standby power consumption is not needed for computers that are not networked. Also, televisions do not need to draw power simply to avoid having to get off the couch to turn it on.”

“If manufacturers built efficient appliances there would be no need to dam yet another river or burn more coal to supply the extra power consumption. We also cannot have it both ways. We either take responsibility for our individual power generation, consumption and conservation or we suffer further environmental consequences.”



1. Alan Liefting is currently studying Environmental Management at Lincoln University and had previously spent over 20 years working in the electronics and computer industry.

2. The “An Inefficient Truth” report can be viewed at http://www.globalactionplan.org.uk/

3. 2001 BRANZ report: Camilleri, M, Pollard, A., Stoecklein, A., Amitrano, L, Isaacs, N., “The Baseload and Standby Power Consumption of New Zealand Houses”