Green IT at SHU

In DTS we think about the carbon footprint of the University when we’re considering what type of IT to invest in and how we use equipment and facilities. Over the past few years we have made comparisons of the energy consumption of various machines and looked at how we can work more economically and sustainably. Below are some of the ways IS&T have worked to be more environmentally friendly.

Sustainable Procurement and Disposal of Equipment

Replacing old less efficient equipment with new, more environmentally friendly devices is a key focus for IS&T. For example, we tested the energy consumption of our IT stock. This showed that the new breed of larger monitors used less power that our existing small ones. Now, as we replace PCs, we install 22″ screens as standard.

The introduction of MFDs across the University has reduced the number of small personal printers, reducing the waste of both paper and energy. The MFDs are also cheaper to run and more environmentally friendly in terms of the amount of energy and ink used.

Computer Disposals Limited (CDL) has been appointed to remove and dispose of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to ensure we comply with legislation and avoid waste going to landfill. CDL has a company policy to reuse 60% of the equipment it removes and the remainder is recycled.

Paper Cut

The Paper Cut software has been rolled out across the University and serves two functions. Firstly, it acts as an awareness tool by showing you the cost of your printing. Secondly, it measures the amount of printing across the University; this helps to identify areas of high volume and provides a baseline for printing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Select and Release Printing

Select and Release printing is currently being rolled out across the university and has had an immediate effect in reducing waste. Since September 2015, over 26000 pieces of paper have been saved along with the ink and energy that would have been used to print them. Additionally, initiatives like Print Green provide you with pre-defined printing settings that allow you to easily reduce the amount of paper used when printing.

Forced shut down of student PCs

Computers that are left on when not in use lead to a huge amount of wasted energy. Last year, student computers that were left on overnight and at weekends produced 42.34 tonnes of Ce. This cost the University more than £5330, not including the computers in the learning centres. By forcing the shutdown of student PCs, the University is able to make both cost and energy savings. There are also discussions underway to find a viable solution to staff PCs being left on when unused.

Every little helps

Did you know that leaving a PC monitor on overnight uses more energy that the PC itself? Or that it is more cost effective to leave on the MFDs rather than rebooting due to their sophisticated sleep system and the power it takes to reboot?

As individuals, changing our behaviour in small ways can make a big difference to the University’s environmental impact. For example, turning off your computer at the end of the day or stopping to think whether you really need to print a document (or using Print Green!) are all ways you can help.

You can find out more about the University’s Sustainability goals here.