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Green IT – Achieving Greater Sustainability in the Office

November 7th, 2022 | by
Half page leaf with illustration of a platine

Source: Own illustration

For a long time now, digitalization has reached all areas of our daily lives. Digital technologies play a central role in our everyday lives and are constantly evolving at a rapid pace. The development of increasingly innovative technologies is opening up completely new opportunities and possibilities from a technical, economic and social point of view. But digitization is not all positive. All involved stakeholders should always remain aware of the impact it has on the environment and society.

One of the negative impacts of digitization is its impact on the environment. However, this does not always have to be the case. Used in a targeted and considered manner, it can even contribute to greater sustainability. Green IT refers to the environmentally friendly and resource-conserving use of information and communications technology (ICT) and the saving of resources through the use of ICT. If you want to make your current IT infrastructure more sustainable, there are plenty of ways to do so and you may even save money in the process. In this blogpost, we will show you a few easy solutions for more sustainability in the office.

 

Switch off Devices and Save Energy

Sometimes even small actions can have a big impact. This applies to the switching off of devices for example. IT devices are often not switched off properly at the end of the work day, chargers remain stuck in sockets and lights are not switched off. Very simple measures can reduce the overall energy consumption in the office. Each individual employee should take an active role in this process. Always make sure to turn off all devices and lights when you leave your workplace after work.

Electrical appliances that are switched off also consume electricity when they are connected to the mains. Multiple power strips with on/off switches may be a good solution for this concern. Instead of switching off each device individually, the power strip can simply be unplugged. Switching off the Wi-Fi router after work or at the weekend will reduce power consumption too. When it comes to choosing a printer, you might want to keep an eye open as well. Inkjet printers, for example, tend to consume much less power than laser printers.

 

Adapting It Equipment to Meet the Requirements

The more powerful a device is, the more power it consumes when in use. That is why adjusting the IT equipment to the individual needs of the employees is so important. Not every employee needs high-performance devices. For classic office applications, for example, the capacities of compact mini PCs are perfectly adequate. Same applies to classic peripherals such as printers and scanners. Not every individual office room needs its own complete set of equipment. These devices should ideally be centralized.

 

Acquiring Sustainable Hardware

When acquiring a new piece of equipment, one should not only look at the acquisition costs, but also consider the operating costs of the device over its entire lifetime. Energy efficiency and durability should be deciding factors in this regard. For greater sustainability, the hardware should be used for as long as possible and, at best, be upgradeable. When acquiring peripheral devices, it is also advisable to give preference to multifunction devices. The use of more energy-efficient devices with longer life cycles not only saves energy, but also reduces the consumption of valuable resources, which are becoming increasingly scarce.

 

Paperless office

Many documents and e-mails are printed out in an unnecessary manner. Some of these documents are only used for a short time and sooner or later end up in the paper bin at best. Digital documents, on the other hand, can be viewed, revised and saved again at any time and from anywhere thanks to cloud solutions. With paper-based processes, documents would have to be reprinted and reclassified in files with each modification. Outdated documents would then have to be disposed of.

The production of paper consumes a lot of energy, water and wood and causes climate-damaging emissions. By digitizing processes, the consumption of valuable material resources such as paper and toner can be reduced significantly. This means less wood and water are needed for paper production and the amount of paper waste can be reduced significantly too.

There are countless ways to do something good for our planet. Especially the area of information technology bears a great potential for improvement. Even small gestures in handling IT can contribute to an environmentally conscious use of resources, whether at home or at work. And some of these measures can even save you some money. So let’s all get together and do something positive!

 

Responsible for the content of this article is Stéphanie Bauens.

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