Cost and Carbon Comparison Tool: Thick Vs Thin Clients

Cost and Carbon Comparison Tool: Thick Vs Thin Clients

This guide accompanies an Excel tool which is designed to help Further and Higher Education (FHE) Institutions estimate the costs and carbon emissions of thin versus thick client PCs over a given evaluation period. The tool automatically calculates the following for both thick and thin clients:

  • Capital costs over the evaluation period
  • Operational costs over the evaluation period          
  • Intangible costs (e.g. productivity losses) over the evaluation period        
  • Carbon emissions from energy in use over the evaluation period
  • Space utilisation over the evaluation period

The tool calculates the savings (positive values) or costs (negative values) of thin clients compared to thick clients over the evaluation period. It has been kept simple for ease of comparison and to provide a reasonable first approximation of the costs and carbon emissions of different client options. Download the files:

It has been produced by the SusteIT project (see which is funded by the Joint Information Services Committee (JISC) (see, and is co-managed by the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI) project (see

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