30 May 2022
How Your Business Can Cut Carbon Emissions with Changes in Your IT Services and Strategy
No matter what industry you are in, chances are that your business is more aware of its environmental responsibility than ever before. Perhaps you have switched to electric or hybrid vehicles, reduced your number of journeys, or dreamed up ways to make your production process more energy efficient. But what about your IT choices? There are some great ways to adjust the way you use IT that will be better for the environment and for your business.
Running a server can use a lot of power, not to mention take up additional space that must be appropriately cooled. If you are not already fully cloud-based, prioritising migration will quickly make a difference to your energy consumption. That isn’t the only advantage: instead of driving to the office to respond to a security alarm at 3am, cloud-based apps now allow you to check security cameras at any time from any location.
Turn off equipment when not in use
Windows has the ability to put a computer to sleep when it is not in use. Most screens are only used for around eight hours per day, so ensuring they automatically sleep when not in use, even when you have gone to lunch or into a meeting, will reduce power use. It is amazing how much this adds up over a year.
Use modern equipment
Ever noticed how much heat an older TV produces, or how much noise the fan in an ageing computer makes? As technology has evolved, devices have become more efficient. Tighter standards have prompted manufacturers to improve power efficiency and reduce emissions. Aside from working more efficiently, newer machines reduce energy consumption, and make opening your utilities bill a less stressful experience.
Automated lighting and air conditioning
Very few organisations use all their workspace 24/7. Since COVID-19 prompted an increase to working from home, some offices have been almost empty, but the lights and air conditioning are still operating. Using automation can make a real difference. In a building, you can set lights to switch off if there is no movement for a set amount of time, and switch on when staff return. Air temperature can be controlled to cool only when people visit a room. The technology is simple to introduce, and quick to start saving energy.
Online meetings and events
Collaboration technologies like Microsoft Teams have really come to the forefront in the last couple of years, making it easy to conduct effective meetings from anywhere. We’ve seen some innovative group events, too, from major global organisations and from small, local groups. There are occasions where a visit in person matters but before booking that next plane ticket, consider whether the same activity could be done online.
We recommend a review of any business processes that require printing. Ask yourself if the process can be done better by a technology alternative that doesn’t involve paper. Our engineers are trained to notice what is printed and why – nine times out of ten, they can automate a process, saving staff time and cutting the amount of paper that is used. The good news is that when you print less, a more compact, multi-purpose machine is often a better option, also replacing multiple other machines. Fewer machines mean lower energy use.
Use data to make decisions
Many organisations now use data to reduce travel. For example, some councils now use sensors to tell them when public bins are full, so that their garbage collectors don’t travel to empty them before it is needed. They’re reducing emissions and fuel costs, as well as helping staff to work more efficiently. Similar technology can be used in all kinds of businesses to save on travel.
Recycle computers and batteries
Computers don’t last forever, so when it is time to upgrade, it is important to think carefully about disposal. Once data has been removed properly, our retired machines go to a trusted recycling facility that ensures the materials are not simply adding to landfill. Of the estimated 67 million tonnes of waste Australians generated in 2017, just 37 was recycled, leaving the rest to be disposed of in landfill. Reducing that number is an environmental necessity.