Our customers talk about “going green” and demand products that use less power, lower cooling costs and reduce cable counts. And, there are increasingly more and more regulatory requirements to which we must comply. However, our plans for green technology go further than that. We have a four-point plan for thinking and executing on “going green:”
1. Product Design
2. Customer and Regulatory Demands
3. Materials Reduction
4. Supply Chain Optimization
Emulex is committed to improving the environmental attributes of its products, because it is good for business, good for our partners, good for the planet and the right thing to do. In most cases, “going green” in the IT world has been focused on the consumption of watts and British Thermal Units (BTUs) and getting more Central Processing Units (CPUs) or Terabyte per square foot. These are important green technology goals, but using less materials and fully recyclable materials are also just as important for the supply chain, our Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and our own cost management. At Emulex, we are committed to using the right materials that not only meet or exceed the requirements of our customer and regulatory demands, but also provide a competitive advantage in the market. One of the key materials in our product is packaging, and we have been working on making our delivery greener in three ways: using less packaging, lowering fuel costs and using fully recyclable materials.
We have all heard the expression “less is more,” and when it comes to shipping our products, we have been able to embrace this adage and create a new benchmark in operational efficiency and green technology. To many, the terms technology and packaging may not seem to go together, but every aspect of our business requires people and technology that can break new ground in the choice of materials, questioning the status quo and pushing the boundaries of physics to provide maximum protection using minimal resources.
In the photo to the right, you can see the result of that fresh thinking. In the last few months, Mike Kalina in our operations team has helped design improved packaging that dramatically increased our pallet density, enabling us to pack 600 adapters on a single pallet, up from 320, an improvement of 88 percent, which impacts a full 73 percent of all our shipments today. This solution has passed dozens of tests to become a usable technology and shows how the right packaging technology can be used to lower resource usage (corrugated cardboard), lower shipping costs and reduce fuel consumption.
In highly competitive businesses, it is often the culmination of many little things that add up to create a competitive advantage; alone, they do not create preference at the customer level, but when all other things are equal, it can be little things—like packaging that simplifies supply chains, takes up less warehouse space and helps minimize overhead—that win in the market.
As you can imagine, we often get questions from our customers and partners on our environmental impact and compliance with green initiatives and requirements. Applying the best tenets of our green strategy is serious business; it is not just about being politically correct for public relations reasons. Our entire ecosystem is interested in our green initiatives, and how Emulex ensures Electronic Industry Citizenship Collation (EICC) compliance, and is working to reduce its downstream impact. From our product to our packaging to how we communicate and how we take necessary steps to reduce the electric bills in our own labs and facilities, we are working as a company to demonstrate this commitment to our customers and the environment. As an example, this year, Emulex introduced an “Energy Wise” program at its domestic locations, which has resulted in a 3.5% reduction in energy use compared to the same time period last year.
In addition to reducing our customers’ electric bills through cooler products, reducing our own energy consumption and our work to reduce packaging, Emulex’s entire product line is Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)- and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)-compliant, meeting the strict requirements set to eliminate dangerous substances from our environment. We are also strong believers in holding virtual meetings and Web seminars to reduce travel throughout our company.
For many companies, the best way to be truly green is to have customer, regulatory, competitive and financial motivations coincide. At Emulex, we are saving money now every quarter, every month and every shipment, thanks to reduced packaging and reduced freight costs. When you partner with Emulex, and you put Emulex in your data center, you know that you are not only doing the right thing for your business and your network, but what is right for the world.