In the Blog
The IT Division’s e-waste programme continues to quietly do the right thing behind the scenes. During the period July 2012 to April 2013, Cape e-Waste Recyclers, our e-waste contractors, removed the following items from the on-campus e-waste depot for responsible disposal and recycling:
- 325 Computers
- 162 Printers and Scanners
- 269 Monitors
- 3 boxes of general e-waste.
The procedures by which IT assets should be decommissioned and placed into the e-waste stream are detailed on the IT Help wiki: e-Waste Procedures.
Die prosedures om IT-bates uit diens te haal en in die e-afval stroom te plaas is op die IT Help wiki beskikbaar: e-Afval Prosedures.Read more...
Rumour has it that our peers across the Cape Flats have also signed up with FindaLift’s rideshare service. UCT was the pioneer in launching an online rideshare – or lift club – service for students and staff with RideLink some years ago. The software behind RideLink was specially developed for UCT at the time. It now appears that they have decided to migrate to FindaLift’s cloud service.
FindaLift offers a closed rideshare system to institutions such as universities that allows students and staff to advertise and find lifts to, from and on campus while helping to ensure their safety and privacy. Stellenbosch University launched its rideshare service, as part of its Mobility Plan which seeks to create more sustainable campus transport options, last year. Maties FindaLift – http://maties.findalift.co.za – may be accessed by current students and staff and requires a valid university email address to register with.
Although Stellenbosch is still regarded as a residential campus, the reality is that a significant proportion of the student body commutes to campus on a daily basis.Read more...
Here is an example of how information technology can be leveraged to contribute to a sustainable campus. A lift club (or rideshare) scheme has been launched on campus that uses a cloud-based, closed rideshare service from FindaLift.
Stellenbosch University encourages the combined use of a range of transport options, including walking, cycling, campus shuttle services, lift clubs and public transport, to establish a sustainable and environmentally friendly campus and town, as part of its comprehensive Matie Mobility Master Plan.
With Maties FindaLift students and staff can advertise and find lifts using a Google Maps interface. Access to the free service is limited to users who possess a valid Stellenbosch University email address. The fact that the service is closed to the university community goes some way to assuaging safety concerns and ensuring a trusted environment.
The interesting thing about Maties FindaLift is that its use is not limited to students and staff on the main Stellenbosch campus, but could be used in the vicinity of the Bellville Park, Tygerberg, Saldanha and Worcester campuses as well – and potentially “anywhere in the world” where groups of Maties may be interested in sharing lifts.Read more...
What on earth has the newly unveiled university Mobility Plan to do with information and communications technology? Quite a bit actually. It is another example of how ICT can be an enabler for sustainability elsewhere on campus – the third leg of Sustainable IT.Read more...
Information technology can enable the achievement of sustainability goals on campus in many ways, including by providing sustainability assessment and reporting tools. More than two years ago when students initiated and drove the population of a “sustainability scorecard” with the purpose of conducting a sustainability assessment and setting the bar, information technology played an insignificant role. The scorecard was presented to management but never published and there has been no subsequent assessment.
Recently, however, the request came to the IT Division to investigate the local market for carbon footprint assessment and reporting tools. A very brief report on sustainability reporting (pdf) was prepared and submitted. It briefly explores the world of sustainability and integrated reporting, considers reporting frameworks and standards (such as the GHG Protocol, Global Reporting Initiative, STARS (a framework for higher education) etc.), and reviews a sample of sustainability management suites and tools.
Finally it recommends that:
…any choice of a sustainability application suite should be delayed until the university’s sustainability strategy has been determined.
… that it is necessary for the university to select and implement a sustainability assessment and reporting framework in order to identify sustainability indicators, help it develop its strategy, assess progress, report to stakeholders and benchmark against similar institutions.
The recommended assessment and reporting framework is the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability, Tracking and Rating System (STARS). Stellenbosch University is an international member of AASHE.Read more...
Last September we reported that the savings as a result of the new printing system were already significant. Now almost a year after implementation we can show that the targeted areas in the university used 39% less paper than what they would have during 2010. (more…)Read more...
Greenpeace’s latest Green Electronics Survey reveals that 18 companies participated and that there has been a “general improvement in green features” since the 2008 and 2009 surveys. Notebooks, desktops, netbooks, smartphones, mobile phones, monitors and TVs are assessed against the following criteria:
- The use of hazardous chemical substances (e.g. PVC, BFRs, phthalates, etc.)
- Power consumption by the products (benchmarked against the Energy Star standard)
- Product lifecycle (including use of recycled plastic, take-back programmes, etc.)
- Innovation and marketing (data about the manufacturing footprint, consumer information, etc.).
In desktops, HP Compaq’s 6005 Pro Ultra-slim came out tops while in smartphones the Sony-Ericsson Aspen (M1) beat out Nokia’s N8-00. Once again Apple declined to participate.
One wonders how many buying decisions are influenced by such a survey….?Read more...
The InnovUS office was abuzz with excitement on Thursday 21 October 2010! It is after all the first administrative building on the Stellenbosch University campus to install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. This green initiative was celebrated with a launch held at its offices in De Beer Street, Stellenbosch. The PV panels at InnovUS will allow the office to generate its own electricity, thereby reducing the amount of electricity purchased from the municipality. This is in line with the overall sustainability objectives of the University and the project will pave the way for the rest of the University to follow suit. Read more …Read more...
South Africa’s higher education IT sector held its third Green IT special interest group (SIG) webinar today under the auspices of the South African University Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT). There were 11 participants from SU, UCT, NMMU, UP, UNISA and UJ. Kimon de Greeff and Charl Souma of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Adriaan Vorster of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) presented on the following:
- Kimon – UCT’s online car pooling systems for students, RideLink
- Adriaan – UJ’s renovation of its data centre cooling
- Charl – update on UCT’s e-waste initiative
- Charl – UCT’s energy-monitoring system under implementation.
The Story of Stuff Project has released a new animated film, The Story of Electronics, hosted by Annie Leonard, the creator of the hit viral video The Story of Stuff. The film takes on the electronics industry about e-Waste. It argues for “product take back” and for companies to manufacture less toxic, more easily recyclable and longer lasting products. It’s an entertaining but pointed way to get the message across to us gadget geeks …
Did she mention “take back” laws in South Africa? Er …. no.Read more...