How to Create a More Sustainable IT Department

Did you know that just twenty companies are responsible for a third of the world’s total carbon emissions? Compared to households, businesses emit far more CO2 into the atmosphere, leading to the warming of our planet and the destruction of the environment. If we want to secure the safety of the Earth for future generations, we need to start with businesses.

If you run a company and are looking to become more green, good for you! No matter how large or small your business, every sustainable change has a global impact. To help you on your eco journey, we’ve put together some top tips to transform your IT department into a hub of sustainability.

Audit Your CO2 Emissions

The first step to becoming greener is a CO2 audit. You can hire a company to do this for you or tackle it yourself, measuring the amount of emissions your IT department is currently adding to our atmosphere. This should be a complete picture of your impact, including the emissions of third parties you work with and those created when building your IT tools. If you’re not sure how to conduct a CO2 audit, play it safe and call in the professionals.

Once your audit has been completed, you can then look at where you can improve. Start with your worst areas and find greener solutions that’ll cut your numbers down. For example, if your electricity usage is the biggest emitter, switch to a renewable energy supplier and look at how you can reduce power wastage.

Become Efficient With Data Storage

Have you considered the emissions created by your data storage? Whenever a digital file is made, it has to be stored somewhere – usually on external servers. This applies to cloud documents, emails, and everything else you store in your digital world. If you have a large IT department, the impact of your data storage can really add up!

Become more sustainable by being efficient with storage. Delete files and emails you don’t need rather than archiving them, and keep file sizes to a minimum wherever possible. Choose a server that’s powered by renewable energy, too, and watch your CO2 emissions fall.

Recycle Your Old Computers

Many companies don’t know what to do with old computers and technology when they’re no longer needed and end up sending them to landfill. This isn’t an eco-friendly option. Not only is it polluting the environment, but any useful resources that could be salvaged are left to rust and corrupt, wasting limited materials.

Rather than throwing yours away, it’s possible to recycle the following equipment giving your old tech a new lease of life and gaining sustainability points for your IT department:

  • Desktop PC’s
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Photocopiers
  • Screens/Monitors
  • POS Terminals
  • Telephones
  • Mobile Phones
  • Shredders
  • Cables
  • Keyboards & Mice
  • Projectors

Start Using Smart Power Strips

Smart power strips can do wonders for cutting down wasted electricity. These clever extensions cut off power to devices that aren’t in use, even when they’re plugged in. For example, if you turn off a computer, the power strip will stop running electricity to any attached devices, like a monitor or speakers.

This is an entirely controllable tool. Adjust the settings to shut off power to certain devices at the same time and create a more sustainable IT department with very little effort.

Train Your Staff to be Sustainable

It’s vital you don’t overlook your team’s role in creating a sustainable IT department. Your staff play a crucial part in reducing workplace emissions, and by training them, you can encourage a more sustainable attitude in your office. Raise awareness of how they can cut down your overall carbon footprint, such as by:

  • Turning devices off rather than leaving them on standby
  • Deleting unnecessary emails and files from the server
  • Opening the windows to keep equipment cool
  • Turning off lights when the room isn’t in use
  • Reducing paper usage

There are tons more ways that your staff can be more sustainable, so be sure to look into them before you implement a training session.

Remote Work and Sustainable Commutes

It’s not just the activity that goes on within your IT department that you can audit, but everything linked to it. For example, you can create a more sustainable department by allowing staff to work from home wherever possible. By avoiding a whole hoard of employees commuting into the workplace, you can lower your total carbon footprint and create a greener brand.

When staff do need to come into the workplace, encourage sustainable commutes. Advocate the use of public transport, encourage car pooling, and take part in schemes such as Bike2Work that make green travel easier.

Final Words

As a business, you have a responsibility to lower your carbon emissions and do your bit to save our planet. These tips should help you make a great start, creating an IT department that embraces sustainability. Once you’ve audited this department, the rest will quickly follow!

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