Double-sided printing, blue recycling bins, reusable coffee mugs…there are tons of ways to green-ify your office space with small everyday changes. But how often do you think about the eco-friendliness of your IT? From energy usage to product procurement, there’s a whole world of sustainable changes to be found in your tech department.
So if you’ve already switched to LED lighting and recycled content paper — good for you! — and you’re ready to take the next steps in making your workspace eco-friendly, check out these green IT tips from our Tekmanagement team.
Ways to Go Green with Your Office IT
Choose Your Products & Providers Wisely
Put your money where your priorities are, like sustainable equipment procurement. Energy use, lifespan, and recyclability are all factors that should be considered when developing sustainability criteria for your purchases. Ideally, the products you choose will be durable, upgradable, and have the capacity to meet your needs for several years.
Something important to remember: the majority of an IT product’s sustainability impact happens in the supply chain (like greenhouse gas emissions that occur in the manufacturing phase), so choosing long-lasting hardware is a big way to lower your environmental impact. Next time you’re in the market for updated office equipment, ask your IT provider which brands have the lowest return rates, which ones will best suit your unique needs, and which models they repair the least often.
Use Green Energy & Offsets
Power your office hardware with clean energy from your rooftop and other renewable sources. Energy Trust of Oregon offers cash incentives and federal tax credits to help reduce the total cost of adding solar power to your business roof. Additionally, investing in solar can keep critical parts of your business running when the power goes out. Bonus!
If solar isn’t an option for you right now, you can also purchase energy offsets that fund clean energy projects in Oregon. Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program offers options to offset all or part of your energy use with regionally-generated wind and solar power.
Don’t just toss that old laptop in the trash. E-recycling your outdated office hardware can save landfill space and also ensure that your technology items are disposed of securely.
Oftentimes, hardware is broken down by e-recyclers into usable parts and then re-sold to manufacturers. High-value materials like copper, gold, and aluminum are melted down and reused for new devices, reducing the need for raw materials. This loop is a win-win for the environment, and for the availability of important IT resources in the future.
Shut it Down
Stand-by computers consume incredible amounts of energy. It’s estimated that American businesses spend upwards of $10 billion each year to collectively power computers that are not in use.
Make it a part of your office’s closing duties to turn off printers, scanners, projectors and other equipment that will not be used or updated overnight. Encourage employees to shut down their computers when they are done for the day. You can also consider providing advanced power management for your IT department to turn off network servers when not in use.
Go Green by Starting Small
Sustainable changes to your office IT don’t have to be big or expensive, and you don’t have to implement everything at once to have a beneficial effect on both the environment and your bottom line. Our recommendation: choose one place to start and see how it goes. Maybe it’s finding an e-waste recycler near you, or starting an in-office sustainability committee. After a few weeks, add another practice.
And keep Tekmanagement in your back pocket, too! We can help you choose workplace solutions that meet your needs and move sustainability to the top of your priority list. Contact us for a tech assessment, or to hear about ways we’ve helped other businesses in our region to save energy and level-up their green IT.