Sustainable Innovation

AVOB realises a 50% energy cost reduction for PC’s, and more to come..
November 20, 2009, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Best Practices in France | Tags: , , ,

Damien Valentini of ´Alternative Vision of Business´ (AVOB)

End of the 90’ties, three young men won several prizes in international ‘Overclocking’ competitions. ‘Overclocking’ is a synonym for boosting computer power by manipulating the frequency of computer micro processors.

From Overclocking to a Most Efficient system. Later the young men became engineering students at the ECE school (Ecole Centrale d’Electronique, a famous French IT University). The principles for boosting processor power were used but reversed to build a computer system as efficient as possible. An algorithm was created for on-demand real-time processor power, based on the applications that are in use at a given time. The system reconfigures a PC to use the processor power in a most efficient way. It also meant that the user could save a lot of energy ánd cost. Hence, the idea was born to reproduce the algorithm to the benefit of other companies. Pierre Duchesne, Sébastien Lavaysierre, Jean-Charles Matamoros founded ‘Alternative Vision Of Business’ (AVOB) and became respetively General Director, Technical Director and Marketing and Communications Director. 

Damien Valentini joined AVOB in 2008. Informatics engineer by education, he is now responsible for marketing, communication and design at AVOB.

Energy Consumption per PC up to 160 euro/year. Chief Information Officers (CIO) tend to have no clue about the energy spend of their informatics equipment. Until now, they are rarely confronted with the energy bill related to the park of PCs, printers, fax machines, routers, servers in the company. End-users do not tend to turn off their computer, 44% say it is company procedure and 20% say it takes too much time [to re- launch the PC after a break]. French Ministries calculated that 13% of the total French energy consumption is related to IT which is rising 10% per year (1).

AVOB Energy Saver Solution

AVOB offers a three stages offer :

1. Detailed Energy Audits. During 2 weeks, a group of representative personal computers in different company departments are audited. Results are two-fold : (1) Detailed reports with Total Energy Consumption and Typical Computer User Profiles based on the applications (‘just outlook users’, ‘developers using heavy applications’, ‘assistants’, etc).  (2) AVOB guarantees a Return on Investment of usually six months if the companies commits to implement AVOB solutions.

Realising substantial energy savings by adapted the processor power to the applications in use

2. Installation of AVOB Solutions. AVOB installs a dedicated server or a virtual server to make sure that every PC processor will perform in the most efficient way. The AVOB Dashboard copies the IT Database structure, so the CIO immediately recognizes the configuration structure. The identified PC user profiles are used to configure the PCs of the different departmens accordingly (sales, R&D, marketing, etc).

AVOB client-server implementation based on User Profiles of Departments

An important feature is the Sleep Mode Widget. The computer automatically changes to a lower processor power status when it is not used. Documents are automatically saved. And by a simple mouse or keyboard click, the PC is back operational indicating the amount of energy saved to the end-user. The end-user consequently is not bothered at all however well informed about this new energy saving measure.

3. Dashboard and Continuous Advice. In the next period the CIO is informed about the Energy Consumption of the PC park with various Dashboards. He or she can change Energy User Profiles, for instance based on a day-schedule : an automatic switch to a lower processor power at night or an appropriate higher level early in the morning at a given time for computer updates. Lastly, AVOB helps to identify elements that are using too much energy and advices on configuring new User Profiles or replacing old PCs.

AVOB Energy Viewer Dashboard to monitor total energy consumption and to monitor ROI and PC Park manager based on company organisation structure and up to date company databases

Daily energy planning profiles, enabling the CIO to manage the user parameters of the AVOB Energy Saver


User Friendly : The installation of the Energy Saver software only takes a few minutes, on a central server. The application is running in the background of each and every individual PC and does not bother end-users.  End-Users won’t loose any documents, documents are automatically saved before a PC is put in sleep mode.

Secure : Energy Saver is approved by CISCO, Intel and Microsoft being an additional software tool that is performing well and save.

Compatible : AVOB is adapting its database structure to the companies IT database, used for the registration of its PC’s.  Hence, the CIO does not need to enter new PC’s on the AVOB Dashboard, it is automatically updated with latest information company information by pressing the ‘Refresh’ Button.

Garanteed ROI : AVOB is committing to an ROI. A typical ROI is 6 months.


Customers can be found among industrial enterprises as well as public organisations. One of them is the French Ministry of Culture, who have obtained in the latest months. a energy cost reduction of PCs with AVOB of 75% (!)

Technological and Commercial Partners

The Technological partners of AVOB are Intel, Cisco and Microsoft. The Technological partnerships allow AVOB to further develop its expertise of controlling processor power into other domains of computer and electrical equipment.

Trends and Developments

AVOB has ambitious plans. AVOB is constantly improving its solution. By the end of 2010 AVOB wants to have a Linux solution operational. Secondly it aims to have a position in the data center and router market, thanks to the partnership with Cisco.

Source : 1 Inter-ministerial report ‘ICT and Sustainable Development March 2009


Salon Entreprise Durable II
October 27, 2009, 9:56 am
Filed under: Sustainability in France | Tags: , , ,

Innovative products  presented at the Salon Entreprise Durable:

Office furniture of Arfeo. The French office furniture developer and producer Arfeo has a history of over 160 years. The company stands out in sustainable development, as it consequently uses Life Cycle Management Analyses in its development process : Only ecological materials and paint are being used (like FSC wood and solvable paints). Tables and chairs are always developed only for long term use (> 5 years). Furniture is constructed in a modulair way and components are easy to assembly and to disassemly. This facilitates the replacement of just one or two components and increases the life time. To make sure the furniture components could be given a 2nd life purpose, Arfeo has even set up a chain of recycling services.

Arfeo table

Arfeo Office Table and chair, Sis-Téma

Real Time Electricity Metering of Fludia

Spin-off from the French Energy incumbant EDF in 2002, Fludia offers real-time energy metering to companies. The technical metering and software tools are accompanied with demonstrations and trainings. Also real time presentation boards are installed at the companies entrance or restaurant to show the employees the effects of energy saving behaviour (shutting off lights, computers, printers, closing windows, etcetera..)

Energies Attitude

Real Time Energy Use Presentation at Companies Entrance, by Fludia.

Computer Processor Sleepmodes of AVOB

Over 90% of the time computer are on, the processor is only used partly or not at all.  The Avob Energy Saver makes sure that the computer processor energy used is tuning down to a lower and appropriate level to the task. This can save more than 50% of the energy use and consequently substantial monthly energy costs.


Principle of saving energy be adapting processor power, by AVOB

Sustainable Printing of Impression Durable

Despite the all present electronic office (emails, sites, electronic bills, electronic agendas, blogs, twitter and LinkedIn) the paperless office has not arrived yet. Companies are searching for responsable alternatives to reduce their paper use and minimise their environmental impact. (best practices at La Poste, Veolia) Impression Durable offers a Sustainable Printing solution, developed in cooperation with the French Engineering University ‘Ecole de Mine’. It includes the principles of a paper label (recycled, FSC), use of renewable energies, reduction of chemical waste, distribution with responsable transport and carbon footprint measurement per product.

Impression Durable

Sustainable Eco printing and communication, at Impression Durable


The Seminar has given a interesting panorama of companies that step in the ‘new market’ of Sustainable Development. It is recognised that companies are very careful about making new investments given the economical crisis. Nevertheless all industries are moving towards social and environmental policies. Innovation is a survival strategy. And they better be sustainable.

Salon Entreprise Durable I


‘Entreprise Durable’ 130 suppliers and 6000 visitors were gathered 20 and 21 of Oct 2009 at the Porte de Versailles. Topics were Sustainable Management, Green Tech and New Business Models.

A variety of organisations presented their services : Editors like ABCVert (B2B) and Neoplanete (B2C), the French National Norm Institute AFNOR, responsable for ISO and Eco-labels, the Association gathering French ‘Responsable’ companies ORSE and a great number of specialised industries, consultancies and IT firms. Visitors were managers, consultants, marketeers, sustainability representatives and suppliers.

A returning question was : How to mesure social and ecological results ?

Carbon Footprint Analyses are likely to be the first step. Smaller and larger software companies are coming up with their solutions. This can be quickscans via Internet. But often this solution would not fit as many data are required which requires a tool installed at the customer premises.  Among the solutions proposed were the one of IBM and its partner Eliadas. Eliadas offers ‘Elicarbon’, a customised Carbon Footprint Calculation software tool. Authorisation is dispatched among the appropriate company representatives (Sales Director to fill in Car Fleet of Sales Reps, Operations Manager to fill in Production Details). The tool is approved by ADEME.

CSR Dashboards. There is an increasing request to track the performance of combined economical, environmental and social indicators.  Different IT vendors are responding to this growing demand with a ‘Tableaux de Bord’ solution. Among them are Prodware, a French IT provider. The Prodware Solution, approved by ADEME, translates existing ERP data into an overview with 25 indicators based on the GRI Guidelines. At the German IT giant SAP, the chemical sector has been driver for Environmental and Health Dashboards notably after the introduction of REACH legislation in 2007.  Now all sectors require environmental, health and other dashboards, SAP has developed, extending existing SAP IT architecture and data, a  Carbon Impact Tool, and a more extensive management tool (PCM) that shows a variety of indicators (financial, health, environment).

82039342 CO2 footprint picture

Another recurring question was : How to mobilise and educate our employees  ?

Training of employees. Apart from a technical training to understand new tools, education and training about environmental and social matters is essential to create behavioural change . We have seen this earlier at La Poste (Eco-Conduite Trainings to reduce car petrol use) Most oconsultancies and suppliers are offering extensive trainings for ‘sensibilisation’ (mobilisation) of the workforce, together with their core product or services.

Master Courses. Many French universities are starting Master Programs around Sustainable Development, two of them were Ecole de Management de Strassbourg and IHEDREA.

In-company Collaborative Tools. Collaborative tools  and social media can be very useful to create an fertile ground for cross-functional and informal working. This is  essential in the process of innovaton and mobilisation of employees. IBM is piloting in 170 countries around the world IBM-media like ‘IBM Beehive’ (internal Facebook, 58000 users), WikiCentral (internal Wikipedia, 370.000 users), Blog Central (internal blog, 730.000 users). IBM is eager to explain how the collaborative tools are not just ‘good fun’ but contribute to internal efficiency and employee satisfaction : An internal survey showed that 84% of participants find IBMs internal experts earlier than before, 74% confirm to have an increased productivity and 64% believes his or her personal reputation has increased.