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August 12, 2016

How You Can Reduce Your Company’s Computing Carbon Footprint

For many companies, “going green” has become a major priority. Not only is an honest effort to become more environmentally friendly the right thing to do, a company’s level of social responsibility has become an important factor in customer buying decisions as well. The fact is, maintaining a positive public image and your profits often rely to at least some extent on your commitment to environmental responsibility and your efforts to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.

One of the easiest ways to keep your environmental impact in check is through smart computing decisions. Technology uses up the most resources in even the smallest business, from the actual building of components to the energy used to keep them running. However, with the right management policies and a few shifts in how you do business, you can reduce your technology expenses and make a positive impact on your overall carbon footprint.

Use VPS Hosting

The cloud and virtual hosting have arguably done more to reduce the environmental impact of computing than anything else. Rather than investing in equipment and building an infrastructure from the ground up, businesses can turn to virtual private hosting solutions that are less expensive and use fewer resources.

VPS hosting is akin to purchasing a condominium in a high rise building: You purchase space in a shared server, and you may do what you wish within the space you purchase, while the hosting provider maintains the equipment and keeps it running, much like a condo board manages the building and amenities that you share with your neighbors.

You can discover more here about your virtual private server options but, environmentally speaking, shared hosting has a number of advantages:

  • No need to purchase additional equipment. Building a physical server requires substantial resources, including water, electricity and petroleum, and creates waste. Shared equipment reduces the number of servers necessary and resources used.
  • Fewer resources needed to run the equipment. A shared server uses less electricity to operate and remain cool than multiple private servers in a data center.
  • Less waste. Electronic waste is becoming a global problem, but when businesses used shared servers, the number of machines that need to be recycled or disposed of decreases.

Establishing Usage Policies

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While VPS hosting can do a lot to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s not the only solution. After all, servers aren’t the only technology you use in your business, but you can reduce waste by establishing usage policies for additional equipment in the office. For example:

  • Require employees to turn off or use sleep mode when computers are not in use. Not only does leaving a computer on 24/7 use a great deal of electricity, it can wear out the machine faster, leading to the need to replace equipment more often.
  • Restrict screensavers. Screensavers are pleasant, but they also increase power consumption because the computer stays on while not in use. Develop a policy that forbids or restricts the use of screensavers on company machines.
  • Use custom configurations. Most computers allow users to set custom configurations for when and how their machines turn off when not in use. Teach your employees to use them; i.e., set the monitor to turn off automatically after a certain amount of time when the computer isn’t in use. Use power-saving modes on other office equipment as well, and turn off and unplug machines that are rarely used.

Choose Equipment Carefully

While computing equipment has come a long way in terms of energy use and environmental-friendliness, there are still differences among brands. Do your homework before purchasing to determine the energy ratings and environmental impact of the equipment you’re considering.

In addition, compare longevity and reliability of purchases. Good quality equipment that lasts longer and grows with your company is better than inexpensive equipment that works for now but will need replacement in the near future. Not only does that cost your business more money, but constantly replacing technology equipment has an environmental impact.

Thinking green in your business is more than just limiting how much paper you use and encouraging employees to recycle. Looking at the environmental impact of every aspect of your business is important to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect the Earth.


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Cher Zavala is a content co-ordinator who assists in contributing quality articles on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves sharing her useful tips with others.

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