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Case Study

Pursuing “low hanging fruit” lowers energy consumption by 5 percent


When Unisys sought to reduce energy costs across its North American portfolio the company turned in 2008 to Jones Lang LaSalle, its provider of integrated facility management, project management, tenant representation, lease administration and strategic consulting. We were challenged to find ways to reduce consumption of electricity and fossil fuels, but with minimal implementation costs to Unisys. The account team engaged our Energy and Sustainability specialists, who began with a baseline analysis of the company’s present operations and energy usage across all locations, and entered 2009 with a target of a 3 percent reduction in consumption. Our team developed a comprehensive strategy aimed at “low hanging fruit” that offered significant energy reduction with little or no cost, and established a Unisys Steering Committee to review and approve individual initiatives. Following a Strategic Energy Plan outlining a roadmap for success, over the next two years our activities at various locations included:

  • Reducing light fixtures across the portfolio
  • Adjusting and standardizing set points and run times in office buildings and data centers
  • Tightening floor openings and improving airflow management at data centers
  • Implementing a “free cooling” system using outside winter air to cool a Minnesota data center for one-third of each year
  • Entering applicable facilities in Jones Lang LaSalle’s ENERGY STAR client database for benchmarking progress and identifying
    opportunities and best practices
  • Creating and distributing, “Unisys Energy News” to promote energy awareness among building occupanty

At the end of 2009, Unisys exceeded its 3 percent target, reducing energy consumption by a full 5 percent and costs by 9 percent, which translated to $913,000. Having capitalized on the “easiest” opportunities, the 2010 consumption target was set at a more modest 1.7 percent.

Our team responded with a 5 percent reduction for the second year in a row. The decrease was accompanied by a 3.7 percent decrease in 2010 energy spend, which saved Unisys another $329,000, for a total of $1,242,000 over a two-year period.

Unisys’ energy reduction partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle has generated financial savings several times greater than program implementation costs.

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