Here is a green trend to consider: How much energy does your company consume by leaving PCs on overnight and on weekends? The cost could be substantial to your business.

Balfour Beatty plc, www.balfourbeatty.com, London, U.K., has developed a 2020 sustainability strategy covering operations worldwide with critical milestones to ensure it is continuing toward project success. As a component of this initiative, Balfour Beatty Workplace, www.bbworkplace.com, a part of Balfour Beatty, is using technology to reduce energy waste and decrease carbon emissions from PCs.

In particular, it is using power-management software to track when PCs are left on after normal working hours. The software can automatically shut those machines down to save unnecessary energy use. The technology can also predict and report energy savings.

Alex Playford, IT project manager, Balfour Beatty Workplace, says, “The reports, which quantify how much money, carbon, and electricity we are saving, make our investment to date justifiable for our business at a time when energy prices are rising and organizations are being mandated to reduce their carbon emissions.”

Balfour Beatty Workplace is using NightWatchman Enterprise from 1E, www.1e.com, New York, N.Y., which provides power-management capabilities for Mac and PC. 1E estimates the average energy savings of one computer per year is $36.

In addition to saving energy, the software allows for proactive computer health checks to identify issues and automatically fix problems. The software also ensures every computer remains available and ready to be patched. Using LAN (local-area network), computers can be instantly powered on, allowing users to remotely wake office computers for access at any time through a customizable Web portal or via a mobile device.

For Balfour Beatty Workplace, the technology is just one way the company is working toward the goal of reducing the equivalent green house gas emissions of 27 cars in the first year of its sustainability initiative. By monitoring computers, and identifying when and where computer can be shut down, the company is proactively saving money, carbon, and electricity.

For the construction industry, monitoring PC consumption overnight and on weekends could be a green trend to keep an eye on. Not only will it help companies ‘go green’ by saving energy, but it will also help companies save operating costs and overhead expenses.