A bit of sunshine can increase your ROI

So in 2010 Softchoice started to investigate putting solar panels on our roof. We don’t own any of our buildings, so don’t have the authority to make such a decision. But our hope was to put together a great business case that we could present to our building management to consider.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act often referred to as Bill 150 helped Ontario and Canada claw back some its tattered reputation in the Green Community.  It was tabled in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario back in February of 2009 and was made law in May 2009. A fantastic read for anyone that finds themselves with ample time on their hands and is a situation where falling asleep with your head in your lap is considered acceptable.   [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?

Technical Difficulties

Softchoice in 2010 made some key changes to their IT environment and network. These changes caused problems with two of your green initiatives that were released in 2008 and 2009.

Due to the theses changes Softchoice had to make the decision to remove the Faronic Power save and Printelligence programs from the network. We are currently looking at other programs to replace these reporting tools that are better fit to your current IT environment. Softchoice is committed to having replacement program in place shortly as it is part of your Green IT solution and power conservation commitment.

All those PCs left on can add up!

When most people think about reducing energy in IT, they focus on the power-hungry data center. But we tend to overlook the PCs that sit on almost every office worker’s desk.

The average PC and monitor annually consume 600 kWh of energy, which results in 710 to 1330 lbs of carbon released into the atmosphere. The largest opportunity within this environmental impact is that approximately 20%-40% of PCs and monitors are left on all night. One report estimated that turning off every work computer in the United States every evening would save as much CO2 emissions as taking every car in the state of Maryland off the road.*

In business terms, the simple step of shutting computers down nightly can result in a per PC reduction of [Read more…]

EcoMade 101

Ecomade LogoThe Issues

Technology improvements, as well as its increased usage, have enabled significant advantages to the standard of living of much of the developed world, and likely is a key to long term sustainability. However, technology can also have significant negative environmental impacts. Like all products, these impacts come from various stages of the product’s life: extraction of raw materials from the earth and their refinement, manufacturing processes to turn these raw materials into a finished product, use (and often re-use) of the product, and ultimately end-of-life collection, treatment, and disposal and/or recycling. On top of that, computers and most electronics have supply chains and customer bases that span the globe, so transportation throughout the product’s lifecycle is also significant.

It Starts and Ends with Product Design

Design will determine upwards of 90% of the environmental attributes of a product. Product design decides the materials used, the production processes, the supply chain as well as the product’s energy consumption during its life, and the efficiency of end-of-life recovery. Simply put, by purchasing environmentally preferable products purchasers send strong signals to manufacturers to design and manufacture greener products.