How to make your business IT more sustainable - Core

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10 August 2022

How to make your business IT more sustainable

Did you know that IT is a big contributor to your business’s carbon footprint? The good news is that there are steps you can take to make your office and operations more sustainable whilst still keeping up with digital connectivity and technology.

A few simple changes will be good for the planet – and they’ll also be positive choices for any growing business, particularly as the steps you take will improve your overall energy efficiency. 

Understand your impact

When businesses approach us with a goal of reducing emissions from their IT, our first step is to help them understand the impact their equipment has on energy use across the business. We do this by carrying out an IT Energy Audit, which measures output and reports back with clear data from their different devices and networks. This is an excellent way of highlighting where energy use is highest and understanding where the impact of investment will be greatest.

Is it as simple as switching off equipment when not in use?

An IT sustainability plan goes much further than this. Of course, it makes sense to switch of equipment at the end of the day or when not in use, but we are talking here about the optimisation of your IT and networks, which has a much bigger and longer term impact on costs and emissions. This involves a data driven approach and an IT consultant with experience in sustainability. Taking a switch as an example, the power draw through that switch is affected by load, and optimising load across a network can have a massive efficiency impact. We have a huge amount of expertise in this field and we’re pretty sure you’ll be amazed by the savings we can generate for you.

Taking a common sense approach to life cycle

In most cases, the older the equipment, the less energy efficient it will be and the cost and impact of replacing it will be clearly justified. Our customers are often surprised at the size of the saving that can be generated, in terms of both carbon footprint and running costs, simply by upgrading older IT to the latest energy saving models. However, we always recommend a common-sense approach and we will help you evaluate the feasibility of any investment. It may be possible to replace outdated equipment with newer reconditioned models at the same time as sending your original equipment for recycling.

How can disposal of old equipment be managed sustainably?

Under the WEEE directive (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which encourages the recovery, reuse and recycling of products and components, there is an obligation for equipment suppliers to take back old equipment. This can then be reconditioned or the parts can be recovered and reused. We can help customers manage their WEEE obligations by helping them with the recycling of old equipment.

What changes could generate savings?

Sometimes it can be as simple as reconfiguring your systems. An efficiently configured network and wi-fi that is optimised for your business will reduce the kWhs your equipment uses. We can help with this by monitoring and reporting on the power usage on site so we can calculate what changes are needed and how much they could save you. This alone can cut your IT energy usage by up to 25%.

What difference can equipment upgrades make?

By upgrading components of your IT infrastructure with the latest energy efficient options, you’ll notice an immediate impact on your energy bills. This applies to everything, from PCs, laptops and monitors to switches and routers. For example, a standard desktop PC can use between 0.18kWh and 0.5kWh at full load, the Dell Optiplex 3000 micro form factor uses a maximum of 0.065kWh, giving you a potential energy saving of 176%

Is it worth the capital expenditure?

Reviewing your network is something every business should be doing. The cost reduction benefits and knowledge it brings make this a really sensible move, particularly with energy costs so high at the moment, it also helps you drive towards our National and International Carbon Reduction Goals. When it comes to investing in new IT equipment, the older it is, the more money it will be costing to run and the return on investment will be quicker. We can make an assessment and let you know the cost and ROI for each recommended upgrade so that you can make an informed decision.

What should I do first?

In the first instance, talk to Core’s IT team. We’re experts in sustainable IT and we can look at simple network changes as well as bigger projects. Some of the things we might be able to help with are data centre efficiencies. Optimising CPU usage, migrating to cloud-based technologies where possible and reconfiguring your network to make it more efficient. Call us on 01422 880 180.