The bigger the company, the more likely it is to have a high energy consumption from it’s IT infrastructure.  You might think that this is a necessary evil of modern technology but, if you are a business looking to reduce its carbon footprint, then there are a number of things you can do to lessen your impact on the environment. 

Upgrade Your Hardware

If you’re still using old-style CRT monitors and archaic printers, then they are not very energy efficient and are using far more power than they need to.  They cost more to run and more to leave on standby, plus, they aren’t very efficient and in today’s workplace, are probably slowing down your employees. 

Upgrading to the latest hardware will increase productivity and save energy as modern computers and peripherals use a lot less power to run. 

If you aren’t sure what changes you need to make, get in touch with your IT support partner, they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate new equipment and also arrange for the existing equipment to be recycled or disposed of legally and safely.  You can be confident that it won’t simply end up in a landfill if there are components that can be recycled.   

Set Your Office IT To Power Down At Night

How many times have you worked late, and as you left the office, spotted monitors still powered on or PCs left on standby rather than being switched off? It’s a common sight in workplaces all over the world. You might think that because they are on standby, they aren’t using much power.  While the amount of power is minimal, multiply it by the hundreds of machines in your office and it soon starts to add up. 

If you work in a large company, that could be hundreds of pieces of equipment left on every single night.  

Have your IT team, or IT support company set a rule that turns off all hardware at a certain time in the evening.  Over the course of the year, that can save you a small fortune in energy costs.  You don’t have to worry about suddenly losing power if you’re still working, the system will know that your computer is still active and your work will be safe. 

Move To The Cloud

There are many benefits to moving to cloud computing. You save money on servers and infrastructure, as well as space and power needed to run it.  You will also need an on-site IT resource to run and monitor it.  

 People often focus on financial savings on hardware and staffing costs. Cloud computing is also much better for the environment.  

A study on the environmental impact of cloud computing was conducted by Microsoft entitled ‘The Carbon Benefits of Cloud Computing: A Study on the Microsoft Cloud’.  The study showed that cloud computing (Microsoft’s) had 98% lower carbon emissions than traditional on-site data centers.  

The popularity of cloud computing has also led to a process called dematerialization. This is the replacement of physical (and high-carbon) items with virtual data. All in all, there are a lot fewer pieces of hardware and physical media produced. 

This virtualized storage can also make the paperless office one step closer.  The ease of accessing and storing files makes it much less likely that people will print out and physically store information. 

Cloud data providers have come to realize that businesses want to reduce their carbon footprint, so they are starting to power their data centers from energy retrieved from renewable sources such as wind, hydropower, geothermal and solar. 

Annually, cloud computing can save billions of dollars and reduce emissions by millions of tons.  It really is a win-win. 

Implement A Remote Working Policy

Employees spend a long time commuting back and forth to work every day.  Unless they walk, cycle or use an electric vehicle, then they are going to be using transport that has an impact on the environment.  The average employee, working Monday – Friday spends between 4.5 – 10.7 hours per week commuting

There are many advantages to working at home from both a productivity and wellbeing standpoint, but you’ll also be reducing the carbon travel footprint of your employees.  In a survey by Regus, 91% of people said that they were more productive when they worked from home

You do not have to go fully remote, but even allowing employees to work from home one of two days per week will have a massive impact on the environment.