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At the beginning of our sustainable hardware, there is always the question of how to make IT devices even more efficient and climate-friendly. From the housing design to the components and packaging, Prime Computer designs Green IT hardware that keeps what it promises. In the video, Sacha Ghiglione (CEO), Fynn Wohlgensinger (Head of Research & Development) and Monika Dreno (Head of CSR) give you an insight into their ideas for a climate-friendly ICT future. The video is also available as a transcript below.

Video Transcript

[0:00:00] Fynn: From the first step of development–when we start developing any new product at Prime Computer, we have sustainability in our focus. 

[00:11:18] Sacha: So Prime Computer aspires to accelerate a global transition toward a circular future for both work and life. Our products are sustainable because we are built on three pillars. First of all, is the pillar of sustainability. We act in a 100% climate-neutral company where all of our products are calculated and offset. We reduce energy consumption by nearly 80% through our devices. The second pillar is the design. So, the aspect of it is designed by sustainability– or rather, sustainability by design. So, it’s built in a fanless, aluminium case and that gives the effect. The third pillar is in fact, the “Swissness” we bring with us, so everybody understands what “Swissness” means… it’s innovation… it’s the nature and sustainability aspect in one. 

[01:01:21] Fynn: So you have to know that from the first step of development, when we start developing any new product at Prime Computer, we have sustainability in our focus. So that means that this is the design that you see here and the technical components, they are not chosen haphazardly. They are intentionally chosen to fulfil the sustainability approach that we are looking for. If you look at this device, you see that it is really small– it’s a really small computer. And when we talk about greenhouse gases or CO2 we often talk about footprint. So, if you look at this and it really has a small footprint–a physical small footprint–that means that you need less material and less resources. And in the end, also less energy and CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions because you have to produce less. 

[02:00:20] Monika: We also offer at Prime Computer a second life cycle–so, our products get used a second time. This prolongs the life cycle of our products. We also introduced the service model, so our products are being used more than once and have a much longer life cycle. 

[02:23:08] Sacha: So Prime Computer wants to help create solutions and to reduce the total impact of CO2 emissions globally. And, we want to accelerate a circular transition. This means circularity in an aspect of design and getting it back into the loop is one major aspect for the future! That’s one reason why we want to do that, but ultimately, we want to help you to save the world. 

[02:48:18] Fynn: Another super important factor for Prime Computer products to make our products sustainable is the fanless design. It’s not only fanless, it’s completely mechanical-free! That means that you have higher reliability than if you compare it to a conventional PC. Higher reliability means you have to exchange less broken units. And, what we talked about before, less footprint overall because you save resources and energy that you use for producing a product. A fanless design and a mechanic-free design also makes the product life longer, so you can use it for longer–nothing wears. That means in the long term, you will save replacement cycles of IT which in the end, also saves resources and energy that go into production. 

[03:40:17] Sacha: Prime Computer products are 100% climate-neutral, so the next step is that we are going to be climate-positive! But not just the products, the company itself. So, when you buy our products you do not just buy climate- neutral products, but you do something for your climate balance, you save energy, and you reduce e-waste. Climate-positive means that while using our products you do something good for the planet. 

[04:06:08] Fynn: Another really important factor, or probably the most important I would say, is the energy efficiency. And this has also something to do with our design– with our fanless design. Because we are fanless, we have to choose very, very– or the most energy-efficient components that you can get, especially the processor and the integrated graphics card. Because energy efficiency means here that you also dissipate less heat–so that the CPU and the graphics card have enough power. But because they’re energy-efficient, they don’t produce that much heat. With the passive approach–passive cooling in such a small form factor, there’s only a limited amount of heat that you can dissipate. So that’s why we have to go for the most energy-efficient components. Energy efficiency means that you will use less energy for the same tasks. So in a time where not 100% of our energy comes from totally renewable resources, that means also less climate gas emissions or CO2 emissions. And you will of course also see this effect on your monthly electricity bill. 

[05:30:21] Monika: Our packaging is made of corrugated recycled cardboard– so we try to use no plastic in it. Also, the shrink-wrap we use to shrink wrap the products, is made out of sugar cane. 

[05:46:01] Fynn: Even if we have here an IP51 certification… So that makes it even more reliable, especially in harsh conditions like in a dusty environment, or in a production facility. Or if you use it near a kitchen where you have greasy air that usually clogs the fans and makes it less reliable, and you have to replace a lot of units… Even if you have this protection, you can still access and repair things in our products.

[06:15:20] Monika: Through the calculation of our product footprint we did this year, we found out that the biggest potential in saving CO2e lies in the reuse of our components. So what we do is we work with our suppliers to design– again, smartly design, products where we can reuse most of the components. And that’s where we also can save the most CO2. 

[06:42:01] Fynn: So for example, here with the PrimeMini Connect, you can just screw off the bottom plate, and then you will reach components like RAM, the SSD, or the Wi-Fi module. So, if you want to upgrade, or if one of these components breaks down, you don’t have to replace the whole device. You can just exchange this one component. And of course–what I explained before–this will then save resources and energy that go into the production of all the remaining components that are still working perfectly. 

[07:16:04] Monika: Our products are made out of recycled aluminium, which makes them sustainable. 

[07:20:21] Fynn: We did send one of our devices to an independent research facility where they did test the energy efficiency and other sustainability measurements. And then compared it to a conventional PC. The first main finding was that the Scope 2 emissions– Scope 2 mainly concerns the energy consumption of the device–ours was 70% less than with the device they compared it with, which was just a regular standard office PC that you find in millions… in every country… in all offices. So 70% less means much less CO2 emissions and it also means that you save on your electricity bill. What is really important here to mention, is that this research facility has a really sophisticated and special approach to measuring this electricity consumption because they do not just measure the idle consumption like a lot of other labels do in this field. They really have a structured working day and then test our device for several days in a real-life environment. So, like how you would use your PC at the office. So in the end, it makes it just much more reliable and more significant what we did find out in the end: that we have 70% less energy consumption than a conventional PC. This research facility did also measure the Scope 3 impact. So, Scope 3 is what we talked about before… so it’s like the footprint–or CO2 footprint that is emitted during the production and shipment and so on. And this was about 39% less than a conventional office desktop PC. 

[09:24:01] Sacha: So, people and companies should make sure to buy Green IT and sustainable IT solutions because the current supply chain is destructible. And global e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Only 17.8% of e-waste is currently recycled. This is massive! And, has impacts on health but also on the environmental issues we have. And also the energy scarcity growing and growing in several continents… so that’s one aspect we need to be solving by having Green IT, reducing energy consumption, and reducing the e-waste.

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  • Our products are sustainable because they are built on three pillars: Sustainability, Design, and Swissness.
  • We also offer a second life programme that prolongs our products’ life cycle.
  • Some products in our portfolio are fanless and completely mechanical-free, making them more reliable than conventional PCs with a fan.
  • Prime Computer products are 100 % climate-neutral.
  • Even the packaging is made with eco-friendly, corrugated recycled cardboard and sugar cane foil.
  • The most significant amounts of CO2 can be saved by designing modular devices, which we did with the launch of our new product line, “Circular.”
  • If you want to upgrade, exchange or repair your modular device from the “Circular” line, you can easily access the exchangeable module at the bottom of the device.
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