The University of Michigan kicked off its campus-wide green effort in March in hopes of reducing its IT-related electricity emissions by 10 percent – which would save the school $500,000 each year, Free Press reports.
The university currently spends about $4.8 million annually on electricity for computers and other office equipment, which generate about 65 million pounds of carbon emissions.
In May, spurred by a phone call from Larry Page, Google cofounder and a U-M alumnus, the school began shifting to green computing. Page told the university about the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, started by Google and Intel last year, which seeks to halve the current computer energy consumption by 2010. Meeting this target would cut CO2 emissions by 54 million tons a year.
The university became a founding higher education member in the group, along with MIT and Stanford University. For U-M, one of the biggest payoffs was moving servers to an environmentally controlled data center. The move is expected to save the school $94,000 a year in heating and cooling costs alone.
In addition to green computing, over the last eight years energy conservation measures at U-M have saved more than $10 million.
In October, Christian Science Monitor reported that campuses are missing deadlines on their journey towards becoming carbon-neutral.
In September, the new College Sustainability Report Card 2009 reported that colleges across the U.S. and Canada are boosting sustainability initiatives, with two out of three schools improving their grades from last year.