First Direct automates PC switch-off to reduce carbon footprint

Online bank First Direct has installed technology to switch off all its computers at night in a move aimed at saving £24,000 a year in energy costs and cutting carbon emissions by 147 tonnes.

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Online bank First Direct has installed technology to switch off all its computers at night in a move aimed at saving £24,000 a year in energy costs and cutting carbon emissions by 147 tonnes.

The bank is using 1E’s NightWatchman centralised switching technology to power down 2,600 desktop computers at its Leeds and Hamilton offices.

Research from 1E shows that PCs left switched on all night add 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to UK business emissions each year – the equivalent of running 200,000 cars for a year. But 18% of PCs are usually left on overnight, wasting 1.5bn kilowatts of electricity.

First Direct chief executive Chris Pilling said: “We operate around 2,600 computers on these two sites and although we are a 24-hour business, many computers are not used at night. We do encourage employees to switch off computers but understand that sometimes people forget so many were needlessly being left on.

“The installation of NightWatchman will reduce our electricity bill by tens of thousands of pounds and – vitally – it will reduce our carbon emissions by 147 tonnes.”

First Direct is already carbon neutral but the implementation of this technology will ensure that the company will become even more sustainable in its everyday operation. First Direct is also undergoing a programme to install more energy efficient computer screens.

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