• 03.23.10

Ford Saves One Million Dollars…By Shutting Off Computers


Talk about low-hanging fruit. Ford estimates that it will save $1.2 million and reduce its carbon footprint by 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons annually–just by shutting off computers when they aren’t in use. The secret to getting employees to shut down is a program called PC Power Management that centrally controls laptops and desktops to power down overnight and on weekends. At the same time, the program makes sure that computers connected to the Ford Intranet are able to receive software deliveries during off hours, decreasing
downtime during working hours due to excess software loads. Simple, right?


It’s not that Ford’s idea is so revolutionary. Plenty of studies have shown that shutting down computers saves big bucks. In fact, research from software company 1E has demonstrated that over $2.8 billion in PC power is wasted every year in the U.S. And both AT&T and Verizon have used 1E’s software in the past to save energy. But we appreciate that Ford is publicizing its money and energy-saving efforts. Perhaps the auto company will inspire other corporations to follow suit. After all, going green doesn’t get much easier than pressing the “off” button on the computer.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.