Environmentally friendly initiatives are becoming more prevalent in the area of technology, just as they are in other aspects of business and private life. So, how does sustainability relate to the way your business uses technology? There are several easy steps you can take to lessen the impact that your technology use has on the environment.
Often even simple steps can immediately save energy. One easy task is turning off computers when not in use—particularly at night and during weekends. There is a misconception that turning computers off and on again not only uses more energy than leaving them running, but that it is also harder on computers. This is not true.
Todays computers are built to handle 40,000 on/off cycles. This is considerably more times than the average user will turn the computer on and off during its five- to seven-year life span. In addition to saving energy, turning a computer off helps reduce heat stress and wear on the system.
Turning on a computers power-management features can also be an easy way to conserve energy. And when it comes time to replace computer monitors, purchase LED screens. These use a third to half of the power that standard cathode ray tube monitors require.
People are growing familiar with the Energy Star seal of approval for energy-efficient computers, appliances and even homes. A new system, similar to the Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program for green buildings, has been developed to evaluate, certify, and register green desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors. The program, initiated by Green Electronics Council, is called Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) and rates products according to three tiers of environmental performance: gold, silver, or bronze.