Soda Machines Return $1 Million: Facts & Figures from a Green Conference

I attended a conference produced by Executive Council today in New York City entitled “The Green in Green.” Here are a few facts and figures I gathered from the discussion.

Cost of Carbon

Bob Stoffel of UPS said the company expects that emitting carbon will soon carry a price tag in this country and assumes a cost per metric ton of $11.

Carbon Emissions

Rich Lechner of IBM said the company is measuring its carbon emissions (among other environmental variables) but only Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The company resists measuring Scope 3 emissions on the grounds that it is too hard to do accurately and the belief that if every “company in the world” reduces scope 1 and scope 2 emissions then scope 3 emissions will take care of themselves. Here’s a helpful discussion of the issue.


IBM’s sustainability management scheme includes measurement of energy use, renewable energy use, water use and carbon emissions.

Michael Valletta of Microsoft says he figures 75 percent of Microsoft’s customers cannot or do not currently measure the electric power consumed by their IT operations and thus cannot compute their Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).
Lechner of IBM says that PUE is a misleading and incomplete measure as it doesn’t consider server utilization.


Ever since I wrote the post about Dell’s sustainability program, I’ve been wondering about these IT recycling programs. IBM says it recycles more computer equipment than any other manufacturer, some 40,000 “units” per year. And they spend $100 million per year in recyclability and recycling. In response to my question about the cost of this program, Lechner he said the program is a profit center, the revenues coming from resale of recycle equipment.  Amazing.


Ever notice that soft drink machines are internally illuminated? Walmart saves $1 million per year by unscrewing the  lightbulbs that illuminate soft drink machines.  (I did the math. With over 4100 stores in the US, at average commercial electricity cost of 10.03 cents per kilowatt hour, assuming 100 watts per machine and 3 machines per location, it works out.)

Sharon Nunes at IBM pointed out that saving water saves electricity too (and reduces carbon emissions). According to the EPA, some 3 percent of national energy consumption goes to “drinking water and waste water services.”

Adam Freed of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability pointed out that 85 percent of the buildings in New York City in the year 2030 are already built. So meeting the mayor’s energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction goals (30% down by 2030) will require extensive retrofiting of existing buildings, rather than relying on new, more efficient construction.

Question For You

Do you collect or use facts and figures about energy or sustainability? What are your favorite sources?

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Filed under carbon, emissions, illumination, sustainability

3 responses to “Soda Machines Return $1 Million: Facts & Figures from a Green Conference

  1. Jason

    Do you collect or use facts and figures about energy or sustainability? What are your favorite sources?

    My favorite source is my bill from my utility. It shows an electricity rate that, at the margin, is around 35 cents a kWh, which is more than double the average California rate 14.95 contained in your link above to the EIA.

    Also, I think it’s important to use the marginal rate, and not the average rate, in computing any kind of savings from energy efficiency.

  2. David Schatsky

    Hi Jason,

    My electric bill shows a flat charge per KWh, usually .18-20 cents. In New York I’ve never received a bill that showed anything other than marginal rates. Would love to see an example of your bill or one like it that does break it down.

    – David

  3. Pingback: The Cost of Corporate Carbon Footprinting « Green Research

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