A few years back Dell made a big commitment to become the environment leader in the personal computer industry, and since then they have been demonstrating that going green is not just the right thing to do, it is also the profitable thing to do.

Dell got a great response this year from its new PC Studio Hybrid (aside from being super-cool looking, it also uses 70 percent less energy than a typical computer) which made it to Time magazine's top 100 list.

And after the company switched to 25 percent renewable energy for their plants, they funded a series of green building and energy savings systems that, according to a press release issued this week, will save them a whopping 48 million kilowatt hours of electricity this year, and roughly 34,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions (the equivalent energy use of about 4,000 homes).

Here's a breakdown of the energy efficiency and design measures they took in their manufacturing and administrative facilities worldwide:

  • power-saving software called NightWatchman on 50,000 employee computers
  • a big lighting retrofit that includes efficiency fluorescent bulbs and LED downlights
  • major improvements in the heating and ventilations system of both offices and plants
  • building automation using light sensors and timers to regulate equipment
  • a green building criteria for all new buildings (not LEED, however)
  • solar hot water pre-heaters
  • parking lot solar PV arrays which both shades cars and generates 130,000 watts of power annually

And last but not least Dell, which has been a major advocate in the green I.T. movement, did a major revamp of their server centers resulting in massive energy savings — 24 million kilowatt hours (about half of their total estimated savings).

I hope Dell's energy and money-saving measures catch on with their competitors and within other business sectors looking for an environmentally friendly way to improve their bottom line.

Dell to cut 34,000 tons of CO2 in 2009
Dell announces big energy savings ($5.8 million worth) in 2009 and a switch to 25% renewables.