The HP Superdome is designed with a much different basis than most of its competition – and indeed, many computers. The design principles behind the HP Superdome lead to a lesser impact on the environment, and thus are a "greener" choice for heavy computing.
Why? The HP Superdome is designed in such a way that its pieces can be replaced as needed, and the need to replace the entire system (common with other systems, including mainframes) can be dramatically reduced. The HP Superdome is designed with at least a 10-year lifespan, meaning that it when other systems have to be replaced the Superdome will (at most) only need "refreshing" with new cells or perhaps other parts.
For example, in 2009, the original HP Superdome prototype is still running – and even has HP Integrity cells operating.
Most other systems will have to be replaced once or twice before a Superdome has to be replaced. Replacing the system generates, as a result, a certain amount of electronic waste – and a mainframe will create a large amount of waste.
This is on top of the fact that the HP Superdome uses less electricity than a mainframe. It is also possible to only use the cells that you need, leaving the others either inactive via iCap (no power) if they exist at all.
All of these facts suggest that an HP Superdome would be a good choice for green computing in contrast to its mainframe competition.
A update on the recent HP Superdome Tech Day: turns out that Jacob Van Ewyk blogged about it in a two part article (part 1 and part 2) on the blog, Mission Critical Computing. John Pickett wrote about the energy savings inherent in using an HP Superdome on the blog Legacy Transformation.