Volunteering in Bangli brings a new sense of purpose.

The Widhya Asih Foundation is a collection of 7 different orphanages and one office location spread out across the entire island of Bali. Since they are so spread out, we often start our days waking up early for breakfast and then heading out to one of the sites which can be anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours away. I have found this to be a great way to see the whole island even if it is only from a car window as we pass through towns. I would hardly call these drives relaxing though, as these roads have some of the craziest drivers I have ever seen. One of the locations we went to today, Bangli, is still a construction site. They have 25 kids at a temporary site nearby which is an old restaurant that contains two large dorm rooms. The plan is to have the new site up by June and they also would like to at least double the amount of kids they can take in as well. Bangli has quickly gathered a reputation among our group for being the most challenging site you can visit. As much as Bangli is physically exhausting, it is just as much mentally exhausting. [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!

Bring a lunch to work day

Before my time on the Softchoice GreenTeam comes to an end I would like to finish with one last project.  Hopefully this is something that will become more of an annual event.  My goal is to try and take as many Softchoice employee cars off the road as I can during lunch.  We would like to set up a day for everyone to either bring in a lunch and have lunch together or they should use some form of green transportation to go get lunch, like walking. [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?

PUE Calculator

The Power Usage Effectiveness Estimator or PUE Calculator is a tool that we are going to attempt to use here at Softchoice.  This tool will give us a numbered result that we can work into our reports at the end of the year and compare against future years to see how effectively we are using our power.  I will post more as I learn about this tool and make sure to detail the best ways to use it.  So far the most challenging part is getting a member of our IT team to sit down and help me out!  Check out the tool and let me know if you have used it before or have any quicker results.


Softchoice Joins Green Challenge

It is still in the very early stages but I wanted to get a post out there to let you all know that Softchoice will be participating in Chicago’s Green Office Challenge.  We will need to allow the city access to some of our electricity and water bills to participate but I think we really have a great chance at winning if everyone in the office is up to the challenge.

I will post plenty more on this as we begin and go through the contest so you are aware of how these challeneges work but it sounds like it will be a lot of fun.  Our first meeting is next Tuesday so I will know a lot more after that.  For more information or to sign your own company up go here http://www.chicagogreenofficechallenge.org/