Discover 9 Easy Ways You Can Keep Business I.T. Green!
Studies indicate that information and communication technology (ICT) can account for up to 70% of energy used by an organisation, depending on the nature of the business. Many experts believe that I.T. can play a significant role in reducing your organisation’s entire carbon footprint by not only reducing ICT emissions, but facilitating company wide environmental reporting.
There are numerous reasons to keep I.T. green, including corporate social responsibility, reducing costs and organisational growth. More organisations are becoming environmentally responsible and choose to work with companies that are equally committed.
Given the cost of I.T. infrastructure, it is important to recognise that reducing emissions in the ICT arena will be a long process for most companies.It is therefore necessary to action short term initiatives and put long term plans in place.
What can I do now?
What can I do for the future?
Manage your computer power use
Using power management features on your computer saves money and more than 600 KWH of electricity each year. To improve the power efficiency of your PC, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative recommends the following power management settings:
- Monitor/display sleep: turn off after 15 minutes or less.
- Turn off hard drives/hard disk sleep: 15 minutes or less.
- System standby/sleep: After 30 minutes or less.
By effectively using hibernate settings across your business, you will save costs and reduce carbon emissions. Some further steps you can take include:
- Unplug PC’s at the switch prior to leaving for the night (or at least for the weekend).
- Don't use a screen saver – use hibernate options instead.
- Turn down the brightness setting on your monitor.
- Turn off printers, scanners and speakers when not in use.
- Use laptops instead of desktops - laptops typically consume less power.
- Close unused applications and turn off your monitor when you’re not using it.
Reduce your e-waste
With significant increases in the use of electronic goods for business such as desktops, laptops, servers, switches, telephone systems, telephones and mobiles, printers and many more items that have specific life lines, disposal of e-waste is becoming a major environmental issue.
In November 2009, Environment Minister Peter Garrett committed to a national e-waste recycling scheme in the future. However, there are still many options for reducing your e-waste now, including:
- Re-build PC's, servers and equipment and reuse old mobiles.
- Use an e-waste recycling company (costs around $1 per kilo with certificate).
- Extend the life of existing hardware and purchase hardware only when really necessary.
- Offer old computers and mobile telephones to employees for free.
Many of these options will save you money and reduce your organisation’s negative environmental impact.
Store data efficiently
Organisational data is steadily increasing and it is important that critical information is effectively archived for future reference. By deleting non-essential files, emails and programs, you can reduce the level of storage required. The following actions will assist your organisation to store data more efficiently:
- Quarterly clean ups of staff emails, documents and databases.
- Audit staff emails to reduce double up in digital filing.
- Implement environmental strategies to minimise carbon emissions if stored on-site.
- Use environmentally friendly data storage facilities if stored off-site.
Buy energy efficient environmentally friendly equipment
Change your purchasing policies to ensure energy efficiency is a key factor when buying I.T. hardware. It is often as simple as looking for the Energy Star label or researching on-line prior to making a purchase. By prioritising energy efficiency now, every purchase will ensure your organisation is closer to meeting its environmental goals.
Incorporate green initiatives into organisational policies and procedures
Many of the suggestions above can be incorporated into your organisational policies and procedures. In order to achieve your goals, you also need employee support and compliance. Environmental committees representing a cross-section of your organisation can assist in making suggestions for policy and procedural changes.
Establish a reporting system for carbon emissions
Establishing a reporting system for carbon emissions is the most effective way to measure progress in reducing the carbon footprint of your business. For information about your obligations, click here to visit the Department of Climate Change. The “Your Business and Climate Change” section has information about government reporting and tips that will help you to make your business greener.
NineWire is committed to the environment and offers discounted rates to implement strategies that will reduce your environmental impact.
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