It's not about winning

Upfront-IT, a local enterprise in Esbjerg, advises other corporations on IT energy savings potential. The enterprise has already significantly decreased its own energy consumption, and therefore does not expect to win the contest, European Enterprise Climate Cup. First and foremost they participate in the contest to promote green IT awareness and keeping their focus on energy savings.

A strong gale blowing in from the North Sea and right into the offices of Upfront-IT located at the docks in Esbjerg. However you hardly notice the wind behind the thick glass in the meeting room. The building was renovated in February 2015, just before Upfront-IT made its in pass, aiming at making the offices more energy efficient in term of heating, lighting and IT

The Enterprise delivers modern IT solutions and is specialized in Green IT advising. Dennis B. Ellebæk, CEO of Upfront-IT, says that the enterprise was established in 2004. After a few years in business he felt the need to stand out from other IT corporations and therefore Upfront-IT began to advise clients on green IT, and shape an environmentally friendly profile.  

There are many actors in this business. I try to find areas, which our competitors are largely unfamiliar with. This helps to distinguish and remember us.” says Dennig B. Ellebæk

 

A role model

When you advise on energy savings, its important to be a role model yourself. It’s all about credibility, say quality manager Ove B. Ellebæk. Therefor Upfront-IT made sure that their new offices facilities were equipped with energy efficient solutions, such as LED lighting. This has contributed to decrease energy consumption with 20%:

We have to take our own medicine, to be able to show to costumers that it works. We are 8 people working here with offices spaces and IT equipment and we have common office facilities like meeting rooms and a cafeteria. We consume 700 kWh a month. This is not much. “ Says Ove B. Ellebæk

Due to the green profile of the enterprise it was ideal to sign up for the contest European Enterprise Climate Cup, despite of having done so much already to save energy. Upfront-IT even develops environmental reports on the corporation:

We are not gonna win the competition. We have already decreased our consumption and it is limited to what more we can do. We are not aiming at winning, rather we are aiming at promoting green IT awareness and helping others to save money” Ove B. Ellebæk explains.

European Enterprise Climate cup means that Upfront-It are keeping their focus on energy savings, within the Enterprise.   

 

More to be done

Upfront-It looks forward to have an energy savings consultant to visit the enterprise and they have already found a few places with energy savings potential. For example sensors can be added to the bathrooms to ensure that light is always off, when no one is in there.    

we had not considered this in relation to the renovation and no one asked us, but if we are to enable it now, there is a lot we have to change” says Dennis B. Ellebæk.

He believes that architects, engineers and construction workers should improve on trying to think in, energy efficient solutions into all details and finally remember the dialogue between one another on energy saving measures. 

 

Turn off the lights!

Technical solutions can only do so much. Employees are a big part of energy savings. According to Dennis and Ove, everyone in the enterprise is energy saving conscious by remembering to turn off the computers and the lights, but even the experts can slip. Ove B. Ellebæk made this discovery, when he one day, drove by the enterprise at nighttime.  

I came by and saw the lights in the hallway. The next morning in our morning assembly it was discussed. This way we constantly remind each other to remember to turn off the lights. It is mentioned over and over again. This is also something we wish to promote to our customers, since some have 80-100 computers that are up and running. When we talk of energy savings, this is a part of it. There is money at hand” Ove B. Ellebæk explains.  

This is a clear technological limit, even for an IT company. You could set up a monitoring system, so you can sit at home in the couch and check whether lights and computers are turned off. But even this kind of systems use electricity and it is doubtful whether or not there is an actual saving. Therefore is it at the utmost importance that employees remember to turn the equipment off according to Upfront-It.   

Written by Thomas Kofoed Poulsen, tkp@southdenmark.be