Blue Water Shipping lower their energy costs through virtual servers
Blue Water Shipping is a Danish freight agency operating internationally in land, sea and air freight transport and logistics. The company has its headquarters in Esbjerg, Denmark. In order to reduce energy costs, staff at Blue Water Shipping replaced their physical hard-disk servers with more energy efficient virtual servers, hosted on the internet. This succeeded in reducing the amount of electricity required to run the original servers, saving space and money. 46 servers were reduced to only 14, with storage capacity remaining the same. Base-lining initiatives The company succeeded in reducing their overall electricity costs by 10-15%. This figure is an approximation as the server room does not have its own electricity meter, meaning company staff could not baseline the electricity consumption. This highlighted the importance of being able to accurately measure electricity savings and quantify the impact of the intervention. The company’s rationale for reducing environment impacts came not from an obligation to protect the planet, but from a business perspective grounded in competitiveness and cost-effectiveness. Manager Kim Beier explains: “If you want to communicate with business people, intentions concerning the survival of the human race are not sufficient. They want facts, and both colleagues and clients can be skeptical towards invisible environmental threats.” In addition to technological changes, Blue Water Shipping reduced the amount of general waste from 80 to 20 tons during 2004 by implementing a waste management system and by removing some waste containers at the port.
Blue Water Shipping expanded by 78 employees between 2007 and 2008. In 2009 the company had to reduce staff levels by 10 employees due to the global economic crisis. This change in staff numbers heightened the need to establish key performance indicators before applying environmental initiatives. This would have allowed the company to properly measure the difference that staff numbers had on electricity consumption, water, heating, paper, toner and waste generation. The company plans to expand their environmental management focus to other areas of the business, such as the impact of their transport fleet and suppliers. The company already strives to promote the use of public transport over cars and reduce unnecessary air miles.