Ventura Tech considers Green IT important and a potential way for clients to save money while minimizing environmental impacts through things like reducing energy use, recycling, and minimizing employee transportation.
When evaluating a company’s impact, a good place to start is to review equipment running in the office: printers, phones, access points, servers, workstations, etc… Examine necessity, usage and power consumption to identify potential issues. From this point consider the following steps:
1. Consolidate Equipment
The fewer machines used in an office, the less energy consumed. Remove unnecessary equipment, replace separate printer, fax and scanners with multifunction printer equipment, and consolidate physical servers using virtualization, or use shared data centers, where providers have to place close attention to energy conservation.
2. Power Management
PCs and Macs include power management capabilities that place computers into a sleep mode after a period of inactivity. Hitting the keyboard typically wakes the system quickly. According to Energystar.gov, power management features can reduce electricity costs $10-100 per computer annually and in addition save time by eliminating the need to boot up a computer each morning.
3. Extend Equipment Life
There is a trade-off here: new equipment may be more energy efficient, but disposing old equipment can end up in landfills. Before purchasing new equipment, consider upgrades first, like adding memory to boost performance on an old computer. If it is time to replace, many companies like Dell offer recycle programs. In addition, Ventura Tech works with local e-waste organizations to help clients properly dispose equipment.
4. Buy Efficient Equipment
When purchasing new equipment, keep an eye on power consumption specifications. Look to energystar.gov for energy efficiency ratings. Some states even offer rebates for energy star compliant products.
According to energystar.gov, if all computers sold in the U.S. met ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs would grow to $1 billion each year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 1.4 million vehicles.
5. Paperless Office
Institute a paperless policy and stick to it. Minimize printers in the office, inform employees about printing environmental impacts, deliver marketing materials electronically, and consider adding notes to emails reminding people not to print. If you do have to print, consider the purpose – if it's internal, use draft mode, maximize margins, and print double sided.
6. Telecommute and Virtual Travel
Design your IT network to support telecommuting and virtual travel options to minimize employee transportation. Computer power usage has a significantly smaller impact on the environment than driving a vehicle. For employee meetings, todays audio and video conference services are high quality and low cost. In addition, if teams need to collaborate with files, sharing tools like Dropbox and Google Drive make it possible for teams in different locations to work together, modifying files smoothly, without having to travel to meet.
These things may seem like small steps, but in the collective they add up. Contact Ventura Tech today if you are interested in Green IT ideas to reduce energy consumption, minimize impacts on the environment, all while saving money.