Computer Servers

Industrial Consumer

The environmental impacts of enterprise computer servers depends on much more than the specific products purchased. Server configurations, designs and locations of data centers, and types of backup power supplies are equally important.





Info on this product category: Computer Servers

Why Go Green

  • Worldwide, data centers use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants, according to a 2012 New York Times investigation.
  • Only 6% to 12% of the electricity powering their servers is used to perform computations. The rest is essentially used to keep servers idling and ready in case of a surge in activity that could slow or crash their operations.
  • Many data centers rely on diesel backup generators, which generate exhaust and pollute the air.



The US Green Building Council has developed a certification for green data centers in LEED v4 that covers the wide range of environmental issues involved.  

Criteria for Computer Servers

All computer servers purchased by City departments must meet SF Committee on Information Technology (COIT)/SF Approved Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Requirements as follows:

1) Climate Savers Certified at the time of purchase, and/or 
2) Energy Star (for Computer Servers) Label, when it becomes available in early 
Exemptions: The only exemptions are blade servers and servers with more than 4 
sockets, which need not comply with the server purchasing requirements listed .

Exemptions to this policy must be determined by the Department of Technology.

Last updated

Last updated: 
February 27, 2009

Guide for City Staff

  • Buy Energy Star labelled equipment through the Technology Store contract. Unlike other citywide contracts, the Technology Store is a collection of prequalified vendors - not a list of products.
  • Vendors on the Technology Store contract maintain listings of electronic products that meet the City's requirements, and also offer other services such as packaging takeback.