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…]

CSR Energy Audit & Recommendations

Softchoice had a great CSR intern work with us over the last year. As part of her program at Seneca College in Toronto she took a current snaphot of our current energy use, and gave us some great recommendations for 2011. Here is a summary of her report: [Read more…]

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.

Join the club and save some energy!

Climate Savers Computing Initiative is a group of companies that commit to purchasing energy-efficient PCs and servers for new IT purchases, and to broadly deploy power management. It was started by Google and Intel and now has hundreds of members.

How do you become a member? By publicly declaring your support for this important effort, you can demonstrate your commitment to the “greening” of IT and join other industry-leading companies and organizations blazing new trails in corporate social responsibility and sustainable IT.  Make the commitment to reduce your IT energy today, and then go online and register it with Climate Savers!

Four Costly Computer Myths

1 You should never turn off your computer.
Your computer is designed to handle 40,000 on/off cycles. If you are an average user, that’s significantly more cycles than you will initiate in the computer’s five to seven year life. When you turn your computer off, you not only reduce energy use, you also lower heat stress and wear on the system.

2 Turning your computer off and then back on uses more energy than leaving it on.
The surge of power used by a CPU to boot up is far less than the energy your computer uses when left on for more than three minutes.

3 Screen savers save energy.
This is a common misconception. Screen savers were originally designed to help prolong the life of monochrome monitors. Those monitors are now technologically obsolete. Screen savers save energy only if they actually turn off the screen or, with laptops, turn off the backlight.

4 Network connections are lost when computers go into low-power/sleep mode.
Newer computers are designed to sleep on networks without loss of data or connection. CPUs with Wake on LAN (WOL) technology can be left in sleep mode overnight to wake up and receive data packets sent to the unit.

Read the full article on Eco-Friendly Computing.