What Technology Services is Doing to Go Green
Technology Services (TS) supports sustainability in several ways. Examples include:
- Purchasing from Environmentally Committed Companies
- Participating in Electronic Recycling Programs
- Deploying Virtual Technologies
- Limiting Printing and Recycling Paper
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 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 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.
All electronic waste on the Puget Sound campus is recycled in one of the following ways:
- Outdated Apple equipment is processed through Apple’s Trade-In Program, often for purchase credit.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.
- Other outdated equipment is processed through the university’s recycling partner, GreenPC Electronic Recycling.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.
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.
Through PrintGreen, instituted in Fall 2012, students were allotted 750 free prints each semester - an amount that the majority of students did not exceed based on past usage records. Now, as of Fall 2017, students are allotted 2250 print credits for the entire academic year including summer semester. After 2250 prints, a student pays 10 cents per print. 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:
- Canvas – a course management system where faculty can share electronic documents with students
- G Suite for Education – a community space for document sharing and collaboration with unlimited storage via Google Drive
- MyPugetSound – 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 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.
- 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?