Green computing is good for the environment and helps with company profitability. That connection is often missed by companies that think going green is high-cost and lowers organizational efficiency. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are some ways you can cut your company's environmental impact without minimizing efficiency:
- Use virtual servers instead of physical ones when possible. Cloud computing uses physical computer space efficiently. Unless there is a security reason for using a physical server, moving most computer needs to the cloud will save money and lower resource use.
- Use multi-function office equipment. Many offices have multiple printers, scanners, and copiers. Each one uses energy and resources. Centralizing with a combination printer, scanner, and copier is the answer. It uses less energy, provides more functionality, and serves all the business needs.
- Utilize video teleconference to cut travel needs. One study showed that a video conference was 500 times more resource-efficient than a single business trip that included a 660-mile flight.
- Shut down unnecessary equipment at night and over weekends. Stand-by power usage can account for between 5 and 10 percent of energy costs. Shutting down equipment will reduce energy use when no one is in the office.
- Use computer power settings to save energy. When someone walks away from a computer, there is no need for the monitor and the CPU to still be running. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends turning off the monitor after 5 minutes of non-use and putting the CPU on stand-by after 15 minutes of non-use.
- Buy smart. Look for Energy Star rated computers, printers, and copiers. They can save up to 30 percent in energy consumption compared to similar equipment that does not carry that Energy Star rating.
If you can start using one or two of these tips, your company will have lower energy consumption and lower environmental impact from common business activities. You will simultaneously see your energy costs going down.