07 December 2011
Economy, ecology, performance – they’re all Made in Sheffield
It’s less than a year since VeryPC’s new 7000 sq ft facility at Parkwood Springs was opened by MPs Hilary Benn and David Blunkett.
The new factory – custom-built to BREEAM ‘very good’ standards – marks a coming of age for the business which was launched in 2004 by Sheffield University graduate Peter Hopton, his brother Andrew and fellow student Simon Bown. All three are now directors of a company that has grown to employ over 20 people, while garnering a host of national and international awards for its work in designing and manufacturing green and sustainable IT solutions. These include the prestigious PC Pro Award for 'Environmental Innovator of the Year'.
In 2007 VeryPC added the Made in Sheffield Mark to its clutch of accreditations. The MIS logo now appears on the GreenPC Treeton II and will soon be added to other products.
In the words of managing director Peter Hopton:
“Made in Sheffield is a rare beast in that it involves peer assessment of products and processes. We’ve always been proud of our Sheffield pedigree and of the city’s reputation for quality in manufacturing. It’s important to us to be able to say that our products are all made by a local workforce.”
Innovation lies at the heart of the VeryPC ethos and is a further way in which the company reflects the aspirations of the relaunched Made in Sheffield Mark. As Peter Hopton explains:
“It’s a little known fact that around 2%-3% of all global CO2 emissions result from the use of IT equipment – which is equivalent to the aviation sector. A single server in a data room has the same carbon footprint as a 4 x 4, with large data centres containing tens of thousands of servers. We believe that this doesn’t have to be the case and our products and systems are a radical response to that conviction.”
Using high quality, low energy components means the company’s GreenPCs and servers run at lower temperatures and near silently. Tests also show that energy consumption is a quarter of typical PCs and in some cases half that of other ‘green’ computers on the market. VeryPC’s Fulwood computer, for example, uses the same amount of electricity as a low-energy light bulb.
Innovation also extends to a whole range of added value products, such as the integral ‘management card’ which facilitates remote diagnosis of a problem and instructs the server to switch to a back-up component. Very PC’s GreenHive server can ‘pretend’ to be up to seven PCs, leading to a 90-95% reduction in electricity bills.
Peter Hopton concludes:
“We’re committed to breaking new ground in the IT sector and we’re hugely proud of the fact that our award-winning products are all made here in Sheffield.”