On the brink of a global collapse

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a documentary called: Collapse (2009). It was a detailed discussion about the topic of “peak oil”. Peak oil is defined as the point at which 50% of all the oil in the world will have been consumed.  Not only that oil will run out, but the supply of oil can cause a major spike in prices as seen below in 2008. The effects could be devastating. [Read more...]

Chicago Green Office Challenge

Softchoice is officially registered for the Chicago Green Office Challenge!  We started by signing up online at www.chicagogreenofficechallenge.org and we entered in our baseline data.  With a rating system they provided and thanks to the great work from the 2009 Softchoice GreenTeam we are already considered a tier 1 company in this challenge.

However, the contest is based on growth so it will take a lot of us to come up with some changes to grow an already great score.  Please let me know if you have any ideas that can help!

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?

3 Rules for Crowdsourcing Your Sustainability Projects

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about ways to take our green strategy to the next level. We’ve done a bunch of great projects and have a passionate green team, but how do we do more and get more employees involved? We have a blog and a twitter account, so we are utilizing social media. But it’s been more of a communication vehicle than something that “engages” our stakeholders. I came across this article today, and it’s an interesting way to get people involved. We don’t have the brand recognition of GE or eBay, so I’m not sure how well it would work for us. But I want to add it to the things to do list for next year.

A new trend in the corporate pursuit of sustainability has emerged: crowd-sourcing via social media. While adoption has been easy, gaining useful ideas has not. By looking at three recent efforts — GE’s Smart Grid challenge, eBay’s Green Team, and a leading European retailer’s green customer foray — three rules for companies considering crowd-sourcing of sustainability ideas are coming into focus. Read more

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buyub6vIG3Q

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...]

Greener Meetings

Working in a remote office I have seen the good and the bad of attending webinars.  The good parts being that of course it is much greener and easier to attend than having to drive and fly somewhere.  But sometimes it is hard to hear or be heard and our video isn’t always the best.  Overall I would say that the good outweighs the bad.  Obviously for a company of our size it doesn’t make sense to have everyone travel to 1 location. 

The Chicago conference room

 To take costs down one step further, as well as make our meetings even greener, we only give the meeting link and the phone numbers to managers instead of every employee.  This means we are using a lot less phone lines and computers to have everyone attend the meeting.  I actually prefer this way because everyone in their own offices gets together to view the meeting in Toronto on their projectors so its like we are all coming together for our own meetings.