aNewDomain.net — Greening your tech department helps the environment — and makes good business sense. In these highly competitive times, tech departments cannot afford not to green their operations. Here are some tips to help you make the transition.
Recycle & Re-use
Whether it’s paper, plastic, cans, computers or smartphones, there is almost certainly a way to recycle. Everyone knows about paper and plastic recycling, but not as many know about electronic waste. This waste comes from televisions, computers, smartphones, and just about every gadget. The EPA estimated that 2.37 million short tons of electronic waste was generated in 2009. However, much of this waste isn’t really waste as it can be recycled. Electronic recycling centers are popping up everywhere, and every tech department should find out where the closest one is.
If your computers or gadgets still have some life in them, consider donating to schools. The EPA maintains an online search for locations you can donate old computers, where they might see a second life.
The paperless office remains as elusive as flying cars. The average worker generates 350 pounds of paper waste per year. Simple steps such as printing on both sides of paper to cut that in half, and encouraging office workers to use email in place of fax machines can go a long way. For times when official signatures are needed, invest in digital-signing software like PDFPen or DocuSign.
The average commute generates 500 pounds of carbon dioxide that goes right into the atmosphere, assuming a five day a week commute. Just telecommuting one day a week would cut those carbon emissions by 20 percent. Some bonuses: office equipment sees less wear and tear, and electricity bills go down. Provide secure and reliable remote access for your users to make telecommuting possible.
Improve power management
Unused computers still use power. By installing simple software and checking the OS power settings, organizations can see big power savings. The West Penn Allegheny Health System did just this and estimates it will cut power costs by $250,000.00 in a single year. Now consider that this was just one of its locations. Savings will be even greater once WPAHS scales out to all its systems.
Move to the cloud
Moving software out of the office and into the cloud saves on carbon emissions. The Broadband Commission for Digital Development, an international initiative, commissioned a study and determined that cloud infrastructure reduces greenhouse gasses. Transferring your email, CRM, and groupware into the cloud takes advantage of economies of scale in cloud computing, putting all the labor-intensive operations into the most efficient computers, saving power and time.
Try these tips. Going green is easier than you think. Your tech department will help the environment and your bottom line.