Extreme Data pushes ‘zero carbon footprint’ PC

A small company out of Quebec called Extreme Data created an eco-friendly computer, Ecologic PC, but the fact that the computer is green alone will not make it attractive to businesses.

“I don’t think energy-efficiency alone would sway a company to pay significantly more for one PC over another, particularly because the margin of difference between two modern, similarly equipped machines, in terms of energy consumption, is negligible,” said Ted Samson, a green IT analyst working at InfoWorld Magazine.

Yet there might be still a chance for a computer like this to sell in the market because it includes a Core 2 Duo, making it even more energy efficient and fast. It also has an Intel processor inside using 65 watts of electricity.

“I created this computer because people want to do something for the environment; nowadays, everyone is conscious of global warming so more and more persons are concerned by this huge change in our world,” said Etienne Charbonneau, chief executive officer of Extreme Data. “Technology is also developing at an incredible rate so if we can combine both those facets it’s a win-win.”

The  PC has a zero carbon footprint, making it different from other green computers on the market. The computer is recyclable as well with an aluminum case. It also consumes less power than other mid-size PCs available, according to Charbonneau. The fan in the hard drive only spins when it is necessary, making it energy efficient because it does not waste electricity spinning when it is unnecessary.

“This PC is made for every kind of use. It is not a gaming powerhouse but it will suit business and home standard needs,” Charbonneau said.

Despite its energy efficiency, analysts are skeptical about it selling, especially since Extreme Data is a smaller, lesser-known company.

“With PCs people are going to go with the brands they know, like Toshiba or Dell,” said Michael Kanellos, an analyst at Greentech Media.

The new PC is already on sale on Extreme Data’s web site (http://www.extremedata.ca/) and sells for $895. The company started selling the computer in December.

Although the PC is entirely eco-friendly as a finished product, its manufacturing process still causes carbon dioxide emissions. Throughout the life of the PC (about five years), 10,000 kg of CO2 will be released into the air, according to Charbonneau.

“Extreme Data is proud to compensate every single gram of CO2 this computer or its manufacturing will emit in the atmosphere, buying certified credits at ZeroCO2.”

Zero CO2 credits are used to invest in a project reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The number of credits the company buys is supposed to equal amount of emissions it creates, giving it a zero carbon emitting rating.

“People buying it are environmentally and ethically aware. Some people will prefer its low power consumption, saving dollars on their electricity bill,” Charbonneau said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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