Convert your PC to a greener alternative and save money

Ever thought about converting, rather than throwing out, your old business computers? Most businesses are used to replacing their old PCs with new ones every 3-5 years but the latest research shows that organisations can help save the planet and money by converting them to thin clients – and the savings are substantial. Businesses can cut their desktop management costs by up to 47% and reduce global warming potential by up to 59%, according to research from German scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT).

So how do you do it?

By using a simple piece of IGEL Technology software on a USB stick or disk, old desktop computers and laptops can be converted into thin client devices in just minutes. A thin client behaves just like your old PC but stores all its information directly on the server, rather than on the device, and can be managed and updated more simply than PCs.

When the researchers compared new PCs and notebooks with older devices, which continue to be used after converting them to IGEL software-based thin clients, they found that over a typical three-year period the software thin clients reduced global warming potential* by up to 59%, and cut overall costs by up to 47%. For a business with 100 converted computers that’s a saving of £720 per computer.

Valuable contribution to protecting the climate

There is also a significant saving in the greenhouse gas (CO2e) emissions. When the entire life cycle of the desktop device is taken into account from production and manufacture to distribution, operation and recycling/disposal, the institute found that the production of the devices was responsible for a high proportion of the emissions. By simply continuing to use older devices as converted thin clients it makes a significant contribution to protecting the climate since it prevents and/or defers the production of new devices.

If an older PC continues to be used as a software thin client instead of a new PC being purchased, emissions fall by 198.8 kg CO2e per work station. This eco saving on one PC alone is the equivalent in emissions of driving 745 miles in a car.

“This study is a revelation for businesses and public sector organisations struggling to manage with old PCs on their desktops,” said Simon Richards, IGEL Technology Managing Director for UK & Ireland. “By using a simple piece of software to convert these devices to a thin client, organisations can save significant costs, management time and help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, this conversion of old PCs is the first simple step to moving to a virtual cloud or server-based computing infrastructure, which is much more flexible and easier to manage moving forward.”

To read more about the benefits of thin client technology, visit:

*The global warming potential (GWP): The global warming potential (GWP) or CO2-equivalent specifies the extent to which a defined quantity of a greenhouse gas contributes to the greenhouse effect. The reference value is given in terms of carbon dioxide; the abbreviation is CO2e (for equivalent). The value represents the average warming effect over a defined timescale.

Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT)

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is a pioneer in the sustainable management of energy and raw materials. The institute provides scientific findings and transfers them to companies, society and politics. UMSICHT carries out inspiring research and development for more sustainable products, processes and services with its partners. The institute achieved a turnover of EUR 38.1 million in 2014 with 559 employees. As one of 66 institutes and research units of the Fraunhofer company, the leading organization for applied research in Europe, we are connected throughout the world and promote international cooperation.