How IT Can Integrate With Sustainability

Environmental friendliness and green initiatives are at the forefront of many business minds. New technology is developed with the express purpose of reducing carbon footprint and increasing the overall efficiency of the technology used. IT departments power your business infrastructure, but also consume an incredible amount of energy. When you look at reducing the carbon footprint of your IT needs, you create a business that integrates IT with sustainability. Here are a few ways you can work green IT initiatives into your overall IT goals and needs.

Energy Efficient Data Centers

Your data centers consume a great deal of energy, but there are ways to mitigate some of the consumption. Cleaner energy sources are a start to addressing the carbon footprint of the data center, although it’s not always a viable option depending on where it’s located. You probably don’t want to change over all of your old equipment and buildings, but when you build a new data center create it with an eye for sustainability. Build in locations that make it easier to cool your systems, choose energy efficient heating and cooling units for the data center, and look into every new piece of technology that could help with your environmental goals.

Bring Your Own Device Policies

When you have to provide employees with equipment that they already have at home, you’re becoming somewhat redundant and increasing the amount of devices that need to be manufactured. Even the most energy efficient and green manufacturing process still has some waste. Instead of doubling up, let your employees use their own preferred devices, such as laptops and smartphones but make sure you have someone with a cyber crimes degree on hand to ensure that they aren’t going to be any issues with private info. They’ll be more productive on devices that they already know how to use, they’ll be happier because they get to use their personal equipment, and you don’t have to pay for equipment that you don’t really need. There are a few issues with bring your own device, such as getting disparate hardware and operating systems all working properly, and ensuring that the devices are secured enough to not present a major security threat. There are work arounds for all of the issues, and bring your own device policies are gaining a lot of popularity in a variety of industries.

Changing the Work Schedule

Consider cutting down that 5 day work week to 4 days, or allowing employees to work from home. When you have an entire extra day that the office is closed down, it cuts down on the amount of energy that you use. Plus your employees are certainly not going to complain about a three day weekend every week. Not only are you saving energy, you’re also improving the overall morale of your business, making it a win-win for everyone. It takes some time to get adjusted to this schedule, but between work from home options and flexible schedules, it works out well for everyone who can give it a try.

Manufacturing

When you shop for new equipment, talk to the vendors about the type of environmentally friendly policies they have in place. Choose equipment from manufacturers who do everything they can to make their manufacturing as green as possible. Supporting manufacturers with green initiatives allows you to show your support where it counts – with your money. When other manufacturers see that IT companies are shopping from vendors who are more environmentally friendly, the entire industry begins adjusting to compensate.