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Making an IT Department Sustainable in 2013

In modern day society, there is nothing more positive than going green while simultaneously saving money.  The Earth we live within and the economy we work within are both in conditions that require progression from the human race. This applies across the board from personal homes to large corporations. A specific area I’d like to focus is Information Technology. IT departments across the United States maintain business processes and information, but they also use a substantial amount of energy. Using more energy often requires increased monetary resources, creating a substantial incentive.

Everyone agrees at least to a certain degree that progression towards sustainability is a good idea. Taking action within the IT industry can be very influential in the movement because technology services are both widespread and necessary across the country. Below I have offered ways that IT leadership can reorganize operative priorities with the goal of increased energy efficiency and financial savings.

1.     Start a recycle program.

In 2013, the talk of having a recycle bin should be a past conversation. We’re going to focus on bigger issues here. To start, when there are any electronics that are phased out of the department, recycle them. It’s more complicated than a paper grocery bag, but it’s possible to find out how and where to recycle electronics on the EPA website.

This would be a massive step in the right direction. A country-wide movement of electronic recycling could change the whole landscape of reprocessing. There are seemingly infinite amounts of electronics, new and old, littered around office buildings and homes across America. A recycling program of this nature could really make a difference to the planet.

In addition to helping our environment, recycling can also help an IT department and company budget. A specific way to do this is to buy refurbished computers rather than brand new. Doing so for an office of 100 people will decrease demand on a major producer to build 100 new computers, and also save you money on a reduced purchase price. It’s all a numbers game, and it can be improved.

 2.     Small office changes.

Any change is good when it comes to saving energy. Making actionable changes such as utilizing software that can automatically switch the power off of machines when they aren’t being used is a start. So many times a large printer will sit in idle with its power on overnight and throughout the weekend.

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