Going Green: How Softchoice is making an impact on the environment

Going Green: How Softchoice is making an impact on the environment

To help reduce their carbon footprint, search-engine giant Google decided to scrap their lawn mowers and rent goats to munch on their lawns instead. Not only are these goats much more environmentally-friendly than lawn mowers, but as Google puts it, “goats are a lot cuter to watch!”

Softchoice hasn’t yet progressed to renting goats to do our landscaping, but we’re doing our part to take care of the environment with some other green initiatives. Being a technology provider, we know it’s important to look at how we can become more conscious of implementing more environmentally-aware practices when it comes to technology – after all, the IT industry produces the same carbon emissions as the airline industry, approximately 1 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year. While we may be excited about the technology advances we’ve seen recently (i.e. iPads, Google Maps, social media outlets), we have to be conscious of the amount of energy it takes to run the servers and infrastructure that support these tools.

Of course, while data centers can be obvious energy gorgers, there are ways that IT companies can run their centers to help reduce their carbon footprint. To find out how Softchoice is making our data center greener, I sat down with Softchoice IT Infrastructure Manager Lester Moniz. Lester explained the top 3 green IT initiatives that Softchoice has been focusing on recently: [Read more…]

The 3-second secret to being a green hero

In my 4 years of experience as sustainability manager at Softchoice, I’ve met hundreds of people who are really passionate about energy efficiency. And I mean really, really passionate.

But you know what? I’ve realized you don’t need to be a hyper active green-thumb to help out with this important movement. It doesn’t matter what your day job is — from IT workers to salespeople to finance gurus — you can make a big difference with a very small, very simple, first step.

This “first step” is easy, it won’t cost you a dime and it only takes three seconds — but it’s very important nonetheless.

Can you guess what it is? [Read more…]

Walking the talk on EPEAT and Energy Star products

Since the launch of Softchoice worlds first searchable EPEAT and Energy Star product registry, Softchoice has given IT purchasers the ability to easily identify and evaluate more than 2,300 unique products based on their environmental attributes. With 4,800 ENERGY STAR certified products to our website bringing our total roster of certified green IT products to more than 7,100. [Read more…]

Named ‘Top Newsmaker’, Softchoice’s ‘Green IT Girl’ Shares Top Tips for Sustainable Business

Toronto, January 27, 2011 – Softchoice is delighted to announce that its Sustainability Programs Manager, Melissa Alvares, has been recognized as one of Computer Dealer News magazine’s  Top 25 Newsmakers for 2010. Ms. Alvares, also known as ‘Green IT Girl’, has been at the forefront of the Company’s efforts to share information and create a richer dialogue on sustainable practices for IT and business in general. 

“It’s such an honour to be recognized for the effort we have put into supporting Green IT initiatives,” says Alvares. “Through our Sustain-enable strategy we’ve focused on sharing our knowledge and expertise with customers and industry peers. Our goal is to inspire others through dialogue and straight-forward, practical advice.” [Read more…]

PUE Calculator Update

In a previous post  I talked about the project I was going to take on to find out PUE number.  Well it turns out that it wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it was going to be.  Softchoice’s main data center is managed out of a co-location, so no matter how much power and cooling we actually use, we are still going to pay for a specific amount.  It sounds like unless we can consolidate enough to remove an entire rack of equipment, our price and power won’t change.

We also have a smaller back up data center in our Toronto office as well.  So again I worked with a very nice person in our IT department who took the time out to talk to me again.  Unfortunately I got the same answer out of him.  Our Toronto office is on a monthly plan with our power company that allows us to pay the same amount every month regardless of what we use. 

Now I am kind of stuck for ideas.  Even if we measure and find our PUE number there isn’t anything we can do about it.  Has anyone else run into this yet?  We have consolidated on the newest equipment in the industry already so I don’t think we can shrink our data center footprints any further.  But now what?

Don’t miss out on a gift to green your data center

Data center efficiency projects such as virtualization, consolidation, power and cooling upgrades all have pretty strong business cases and ROI. The reduction in hardware means lower operating and managing costs for your organization.

Many utilities are now sweetening the deal and offering rebates and incentives that put an extra bang into your business case.  Some of these rebates are paid out per kilowatt hour saved (usually 5 – 11cents per kw) and others are a percentage of the overall project costs (anywhere from 35 – 50% of your project cost paid for) [Read more…]