Somewhere in the Volkswagen corporate bureaucracy in the recent past, someone was tasked with making a pdf with little pictures of printers on it. It wasn't just for internal use, either. No, this pdf was destined for bigger things, like the internetz. Today, that file was released to the world, and we now know that, among other things, the German automaker favors printing things in black and white instead of in color.

Yes, Volkswagen is focused not only on reducing emissions from its vehicles, but on increasing energy efficiency in its offices worldwide as well. Not content to just let the energy and cost savings be their own reward, the company sent out a press release boasting that, overall, Volkswagen now uses around 9.26 million fewer kilowatt hours per year, about as much energy as 1,400 households use, VW says (we're guessing these are first world households). The savings come from a project started in 2005 to reorganize office equipment infrastructure and replace "more than 52,000 fax machines, printers, photocopiers and scanners with fewer than 17,500 multifunction devices throughout the Group." Well, bully for them.

[Source: VW]

PRESS RELEASE

Volkswagen increases energy efficiency in offices worldwide
New infrastructure saves the annual energy requirement of 1,400 households

Hanover/Wolfsburg, 05 March 2010 - The Volkswagen Group saves around 9.26 million kilowatt hours per year following the reorganization of its office equipment infrastructure. The project started in 2005 and came into full effect for the first time last year. The company thereby reduces its energy requirements in this area by 86 percent as compared to 2005. The savings achieved are equivalent to the annual energy requirement of around 1,400 households. This was announced on Friday by the Head of Group IT at Volkswagen, Klaus Hardy Mühleck, at the CeBIT 2010 in Hanover.

Volkswagen has made progress in terms of costs, energy efficiency and the environmental balance sheet by replacing more than 52,000 fax machines, printers, photocopiers and scanners with fewer than 17,500 multifunction devices throughout the Group, and then integrating these new devices into a unified IT infrastructure. Seven energy-efficient standard devices take the place of 832 different models of office equipment. Thus Group IT at Volkswagen reduced the pool of devices by 66 percent and eliminated around 35,000 single machines. Stacked on top of each other, they would form a tower 14 kilometers high.

The new devices automatically report problems and toner levels to a service center. This enables optimal route planning for the maintenance personnel. Advantages: repairs and maintenance are carried out as needed, storage of consumables on site is no longer necessary, and toner cartridges are always changed in an environmentally friendly way without non-specialist staff needing to get involved.

A survey revealed that the office staff regarded the conversion as positive; 72 percent said that their printing, scanning and copying situations had improved. They also value the reliability of the devices (81 percent) as well as the quality of the printing, scanning and copying results (94 percent).

The project to reorganize the office infrastructure was planned and implemented by Group IT at Volkswagen. The Head of Group IT, Klaus Hardy Mühleck, stressed that "Volkswagen orients its information and communication technology on criteria for sustainability. The multifunction device project, which is now complete, was a major and successful step. And there is more to come". Further improvements in the office infrastructure involving computers and monitors are underway
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