Green Computing

What Technology Services is Doing to Go Green

Technology Services (TS) supports sustainability in several ways. Examples include:

Purchasing from Environmentally Committed Companies

Responsible handling of electronic equipment is critical in order to minimize the university’s impact on the environment. TS purchases campus computers from Dell and Apple. Both companies are known for adhering to sustainable, environmentally responsible practices and standards which apply for the life of their computers, from design, production, and packaging to recycling after the machine’s useful life has ended.

Dell, Inc.

Dell vigorously upholds the highest standards for corporate environmental responsibility. To that end, Dell supported a multi-stakeholder group in developing the Electronics Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). All Dell computers purchased by the university meet the EPEAT standard (most at the Gold level, a few at the Silver or Bronze levels).

Dell also banned the export of their electronic waste to developing nations. They offer a strong trade-in program for used equipment. Dell focuses in every way on being environmentally and ethically responsible corporate stewards.

Apple, Inc.

Apple focuses on a comprehensive strategy for their machines, with specific goals for each phase of product development, use, and disposal. Every computer Apple sells has earned the highest rating of EPEAT Gold.

Participating in Electronic Recycling Programs

All electronic waste on the Puget Sound campus is recycled in one of the following ways:

  1. Outdated Apple equipment is processed through Apple’s Trade-In Program, often for purchase credit. Apple either refurbishes the equipment or recycles it in an environmentally safe manner.
  2. Other outdated equipment is sold back to the university’s recycling partner, GreenPC Electronic Recycling. Such equipment is then refurbished and resold to other users.

GreenPC Electronic Recycling is a certified member of the State of Washington’s E-Cycle Washington Program, which has strict requirements regarding disposal of electronic waste as outlined in state code. The state also maintains a list of approved e-waste collectors.

Deploying Virtual Technologies

By employing virtualization technology for servers and desktops, Technology Services promotes sustainability while also improving services! Just one virtual server can host services that once required multiple machines, thus reducing the power needed to run and cool the university’s physical servers. The deployment of virtual desktop technology is facilitating the use of “thin clients” in computing labs across campus. Thin clients last longer and require less power than standard computers.

Limiting Printing and Recycling Paper

Through PrintGreen, instituted in Fall 2012, students are allotted 750 free prints each semester. After 750 prints, a student pays 10 cents per print. Based on records of past usage, the majority of students never go beyond the 750 free prints available to them each semester. The ultimate goal of PrintGreen is to provide students with better information on the environmental impact of their printing and to promote the sustainable use of campus resources. See more about PrintGreen.

TS works to provide venues which allow many paper-based activities to move online, including:

  • Moodle – a course management system where faculty can share electronic documents with students
  • Mahara – an e-Portfolio system which students use to store and share documents with faculty, perspective employers, and others
  • SoundNet – the campus Intranet provides a community space for online collaboration and document sharing
  • Optimize Puget Sound – the university’s move to an integrated software solution greatly reduces reliance on paper for numerous processes across campus  

Recycling bins are placed prominently in all computing labs, Print & Copy Services, and TS offices. 

What You Can Do

Follow these ten tips for going green at your computer: 

  • Look for the ENERGY STAR
    Consider energy efficiency when shopping for new equipment by looking for products with an ENERGY STAR.
  • Turn Off Your Monitor
    Your monitor uses a lot of power, so put it in standby or turn it off when not in use.
  • Use an LCD Monitor
    LCDs are much more energy efficient than the older CRT monitors.
  • Adjust the Brightness
    The brightest setting on a monitor consumes twice the power used by the dimmest setting.
  • Don't Use a Screen Saver
    Screen savers consume power and are unnecessary. Instead set your monitor to go blank or dim when not in use.
  • Turn Off Peripherals
    When you don't need your speakers, scanner, and other add-ons, turn them off.
  • Leave Your Printer Off
    A printer draws a lot of power, so leave it off until you need it. Also make sure its power settings include a standby mode that consumes less energy when on.
  • Preview Before You Print
    Select and print only the content you need. Omit unneeded pages from the printing job.
  • Print on Both Sides
    Another way to reduce the amount of paper you use is to print multiple pages on a single sheet.
  • Don't Print
    Ask yourself if printing is necessary. Do you really need a hard copy or can you just read the e-mail, document, or Web page on screen?

Faster, Smarter, Greener

As of Fall 2013, Technology Services is pleased to be installing a new standard desktop computer on campus that features the 4th generation of Intel’s Core processor series, code named “Haswell.” When Intel released the quad core processor in June, the company touted it as offering improved performance with significantly reduced power consumption. This means the new computers fit well with Puget Sound’s efforts to promote the sustainable use of university resources.

TS has installed the new desktops, which are distinguishable from previous campus computers by their more compact size, in many of the university’s computer labs. These new machines are also being issued to faculty and staff whose university-owned computers running Windows are scheduled for replacement. See the Technology Purchasing and Replacement Policy.

For questions or feedback, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 253.879.8585 or servicedesk@pugetsound.edu.