Adopt Green IT and Green Computing Practices

Green IT or green computing usually refers to making the data centre and other IT system or equipment more energy efficient, and to reduce the environmental impacts associated with IT, such as recycling of computing equipment.

You can adopt the following Green IT practices on energy efficiency in your organisation’s data centre, energy efficient office equipment, energy saving tips and recycling of used electronic equipment.

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Energy Efficiency in Data Centre

Your organisation’s data centre uses a substantial amount of energy for power and cooling purposes, especially as computing demand grows in your organisation. It is possible to reduce the energy consumption by optimising the data centre’s performance, efficiency and space through power and cooling analysis, virtualization, and using energy efficient servers. Consult your IT vendor on energy saving solutions for your data centre. You can also visit the Greener Computing website for more news and tips on Green IT.

data-centreHere are some Green IT vendors:

In the Sustainable Singapore blueprint report published in April 2009, one of the new initiatives by the government is to promote energy efficiency in data centres:

Data centres, server rooms and IT equipment account for a significant amount of energy use in buildings. The government will work with the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry to develop and promote the adoption of green data centre standards that will reduce the power consumption of IT systems. These standards will take into account the ongoing international efforts in this area as well as guidelines and best practices for data centre design, setup and operations. The public sector will also adopt green data centre practices and promote awareness of green data centre benefits among data centre operators in the public sector, develop training and certification programmes for the public and private sector data centre operators, and promote R&D in energy efficient data centres.

Check with the Energy Efficiency Programme Office on the incentives available for Green IT.

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Energy Efficient Office Equipment

In Singapore, computers, printers and photocopiers are not included under the Energy Label scheme. So if you’re looking for energy efficient computing equipment, you can look for ENERGY STAR qualified equipment instead. The ENERGY STAR is a US labeling program to identify and promote energy efficient products. Find a suitable model from this wide range of ENERGY STAR products.

When buying new computers, choose laptops instead of desktops as a laptop uses less energy. If your organisation needs to buy desktops, choose those with flat panel LCD monitors instead of CRT monitors, as a LCD monitor is more energy efficient and lasts longer. Also remember to choose the right-sized monitor to meet the office’s needs. A bigger monitor uses more energy.

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Energy Saving Tips

powerbuttonRemember to switch off all the computing equipment when leaving the office or when they are not in use, and don’t leave them on standby mode as the standby mode still consumes energy. Here’s what you can do:

  • Connect different equipment to a power strip so that you only need to turn off one switch
  • Use plugin timers to switch off equipment after office hours
  • Use the power management mode on your computer to turn off the computer after some time of inactivity
  • Use the free Auto Shutdown software to schedule Windows shut down

When the computing equipment is in use, here’s what you can do to reduce energy consumption:

  • Set photocopiers, printers and other equipment on energy saving mode
  • Reduce the brightness of the computers to cut energy consumption as the factory default setting may be brighter than necessary
  • Disable the computer’s screen saver as the screen-saving mode uses more energy than in standby mode
  • Use the power management mode on your computer and enable the energy saving features
  • Use the free Edison software to optimise power settings

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Recycling

You can recycle your used electronic equipment such as computers and printers through your IT vendor who usually can take them back. If they don’t, check out this guide to electrical and electronic waste recycling at Zero Waste Singapore.

Image credit: jodax.

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