Prof. Michael Resch (middle) and his team at the HLRS

Environmental Responsibility in Supercomputing

December 11, 2019, Nr. 110

The High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart has received two certificates for environmental protection.
[Picture: Universität Stuttgart/HLRS]

Sustainability, environmental protection, and minimization of energy consumption are important priorities at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS). In recognition of comprehensive steps it has taken to minimize its environmental impact, HLRS has received certification for environmental management under the ISO 14001 norm and for energy management under the ISO 50001 framework. The achievement is the result of a multiyear effort at HLRS to develop and implement a comprehensive sustainability concept that guides the supercomputing center's operation and future development.

"Because supercomputing unavoidably requires significant resources," said Prof. Dr. Michael Resch, Director of HLRS, "we decided several years ago that we need to do everything we can to minimize the environmental impact of our activities. Our ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 certifications show that we are on the right track to making sure that HLRS remains a sustainable resource for science, engineering, and all sectors of society."

Prof. Michael Resch (middle) and his team at the HLRS receiving the certification documents.

ISO 14001 validates comprehensive environmental management system

HLRS has undertaken numerous measures across the entire organization to reduce the impact of its operation on the environment and to create the conditions for future improvements in environmental protection. This includes implementing a comprehensive sustainability management system that addresses not only energy consumption, use of resources, and waste disposal, but also the avoidance of activities that negatively affect the environment and health. Among the measures that have been implemented are the systematic consideration of environmental impacts in all purchasing decisions, the reduction of waste, and the avoidance of using environmentally damaging materials. The center focuses on continual improvement of energy efficiency, including reuse of the heat generated by its high-performance computer. The ISO 14001 certification recognizes the implementation of this comprehensive environmental management system.

ISO 50001 will guide ongoing improvements in energy efficiency

ISO 50001 is an international standard that supports organizations and companies in the development of systematic energy management systems. At HLRS this means committing to measures that minimize carbon emissions and consumption of nonrenewable resources. This has involved setting targets for energy usage, tracking actual energy consumption, and making infrastructure improvements to optimize energy efficiency.

About the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart

The High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart was established in 1996 as the first German national high-performance computing center. As a research institution affiliated with the University of Stuttgart and a founding member of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing — the alliance of Germany's three national supercomputing centers — HLRS provides state-of-the-art HPC services to academic users and industry. HLRS operates one of Europe's most powerful supercomputers, provides advanced training in HPC programming and simulation, and conducts research to address key problems facing the future of supercomputing. Among HLRS's areas of expertise are parallel programming, numerical methods for HPC, visualization, grid and cloud computing concepts, data analytics, and artificial intelligence. Users of HLRS computing systems are active across a wide range of disciplines, with an emphasis on computational engineering and applied science.

Expert Contact:

Prof. Dr. Michael Resch, Director, High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart,
Phone +49 (0) 711 / 685-87200, Email Michael Resch

Press contact:

Christopher Williams, Scientific Editor, High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart,
Phone +49 (0) 711 / 685-62517 Email Christopher Williams 

Media contact

This image shows Andrea Mayer-Grenu

Andrea Mayer-Grenu


Scientific Consultant, Research Publications


University Commu­nications

Keplerstraße 7, 70174 Stuttgart

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