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July 31, 2008

FoIP: Saving the Planet One Tree at a Time

By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor

In today’s environmentally conscious society, companies feel more compelled than ever to provide products and services in an environmentally friendly way.
As a pioneer and global leader in T.38 “software only” or “boardless” Fax over IP (FoIP) solutions, Sagem-Interstar’s (News - Alert) XMediusFAX helps customers “go green” and save money, and provides all the faxing technology they need. As a software only solution, XMediusFAX has no hardware dependencies and thrives in a virtual machine environment. This makes a great deal of business and administration sense, because managing numerous physical resources, often remotely, from a single console yields highly efficient network management, as well as cost and resource savings.
It’s true. One piece of software can significantly reduce the environmental impact of an enterprise organization – in addition to increasing efficiency and saving money.
XMediusFAX simplifies the “going green” process by helping customers who have or are migrating to VoIP-based network infrastructures shift their daily faxing requirements towards an all software solution. By doing this, customers benefit from a reduced hardware footprint whereby fax machines, analog fax lines, fax boards, as well as consumables such as paper and toner and the cost of maintaining the fax hardware infrastructure are significantly reduced.
The cost of going green may at times be prohibitive as companies evaluate the ROI on any new technology they plan on deploying. However, in the realm of fax, proven technologies exist which enable reliable and cost-efficient migration of real-time faxing to VoIP networks.
Moving towards an XMediusFAX FoIP solution contributes directly to lowering a company’s energy consumption and faxing related capital costs. By helping customers considerably reduce their energy and paper usage, XMediusFAX assists customers in minimizing their carbon footprint and lowering their contribution to the “greenhouse effect”.
With XMediusFAX’s virtualization compatibility, existing and expected future workloads are consolidated. This reduces the number of physical servers required, thereby reducing floor space, cooling, and capital costs. It also increases the utilization of servers to improve energy efficiency.
At the center of the XMediusFAX solution, T.38 FoIP technology enables VoIP networks to plug seamlessly into voice gateways, leveraging an organization’s IP investment. It consolidates voice and data traffic onto a single distributed IP network with minimized footprint and hence, clear green benefits
The XMediusFAX solution also helps companies “go green” by moving them from paper to digital workflows. This significantly reduces overall paper use and generates environmental benefits.
Reducing paper demand helps preserve wild habitat, water and air quality. It also reduces the emission of persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins. In the workplace, it means less noise and heat from machines, less exposure to paper dust and fine particles of potentially toxic toner. Less paper waste means less landfill as well.
By cutting back on faxing and fax-related printing, large enterprises can save up to $2 million or more per year. That’s money that can be put towards improving another part of their businesses.
Additionally, by eliminating outdated, single-function fax machines, a large organization can also save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on electricity, leasing costs, and maintenance contracts.
The two largest contributors to the carbon footprint left by business fax machines are paper and energy usage. High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) prohibit heat from the earth to be released into space, creating the well known “greenhouse effect” phenomenon.
Using an energy savings calculator released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”), the following is an example of the direct impact a typical business fax machine has on the environment.
The average annual energy consumption per business fax machine is calculated to be 321kWh which translates to 200kg of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere on a yearly basis. This equates to .62kg/kWh of CO2 emission. It should be mentioned that one healthy mature tree can sequester CO2 at a rate of 21.7kg per year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings on a yearly basis. Cutting down a tree therefore has a double negative environmental impact since oxygen generation and CO2 sequestration provided by the tree are halted.
It was also discovered that the average business fax machine consumes 5,000 sheets of paper annually, while the average tree produces 8,333 sheets of paper. This means that each business fax machine consumes approximately .6 trees per year.
With close to 100 million fax machines installed worldwide today, the total CO2 emitted per year globally is estimated at 20,000,000,000 kg and the total amount of trees cut down for fax consumption is estimated at 60 million trees.
That’s 60 million trees per year that will be cut down, chopped up, and made into paper just so people can print documents and send faxes. It’s incredible that all those trees could be saved with the simple integration of FoIP solutions, such as XMediusFAX.
Michelle Robart is a Contributing Editor at TMCnet. To read more of her articles please visit her columnist page.

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