Seven Steps to Saving Energy and Money With an Environmentally Friendly IT Department

Background
Buy New Computer Hardware
Don't Use It, Get Rid of It
Use Multifunction Devices
Use Virtual Servers
Telecommute
Use Power Management Systems and Monitor Energy Use
Use Smart Cooling

Background

From the smallest home office through to large corporations, computers and other information technology infrastructure is an area where companies can become more environmentally conscious. By their very nature as an electronic device, computers can be responsible for using vast amounts of energy while producing excess heat. Managing the energy demands of computers can have great benefits for the environment, but in most corporate environments it is the cost savings that draw management to explore green IT options.

This article looks at ways in which the IT department can lead the charge down the green path for companies of any size.

Buy New Computer Hardware

Simply replacing old computer hardware that is inefficient with new energy efficient units can save energy costs. This includes the use of ENERGY STAR certified systems, efficient LED monitors and examine the expanding market of energy efficient solid state hard drives. Of course throwing out perfectly good computer equipment can outweigh the environmental benefits of new gear. Electronic goods should be recycled whenever possible.

Don't Use It, Get Rid of It

It's amazing how many offices house old computers, printers, photocopiers and the like that have been superseded by new equipment but not replaced. They sit in a corner never used, but switched on using energy and costing the company money. If you don't use it, unplug it and send it for recycling.

Use Multifunction Devices

Replace numerous devices like printers and scanners located throughout the office with networked energy efficient multifunction devices that can be accessed by any computer. Look for devices with individual colour toner or ink cartridges that can be replaced independently.

Use Virtual Servers

Replacing real servers and data centers with virtual servers can have massive bottom line savings due to the reduction in energy use.

Telecommute

By enabling employees to telecommute, telework or work from home can present savings and environmental benefits in several areas.

  • The organisation will need less office space thereby saving on heating and cooling costs
  • Vehicle emissions will be reduced as employees will not need to travel to work each day
  • Video conferencing can be used to arrange meetings or to talk to a colleague

Use Power Management Systems and Monitor Energy Use

Most modern computers and electronic devices have a power management system that allows the device to move into a low power hibernated state, or even turn itself off, when not being used. Use these power management systems to save power. Also do an energy audit to determine which devices use the most electricity. Those same devices are likely to also produce the greatest heat and therefore put the most load on cooling equipment. Replacing those devices first will have a large and immediate benefit.

Use Smart Cooling

If you examine every computer rack, device and machine individually you will be able to find hotspots where cooling is more critical. It might be necessary to move these devices or direct cool air towards them to create a local cool zone for that machine rather than boost cooling for the entire room.

Source: AZoCleantech

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