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Benchmarking Sustainable IT at universities

Our peers in Australia (CAUDIT) have progressed much further with benchmarking between universities – including benchmarking on the sustainable IT or “green IT” front. South Africa’s equivalent HE IT association, ASAUDIT, has largely adopted CAUDIT’s benchmarking metrics. The Green IT benchmarking metrics are discussed briefly below.

CAUDIT proposes 5 metrics:

1 EPEAT Gold rating Percentage of PCs, laptops and monitors complying with the Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool (EPEAT) for Gold ratings.
2 Server virtualisation Percentage = number of virtual servers / number of physical servers.
3 Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) PUE = Total Data Centre Facility Power/ The ICT Equipment Power
4 Environmental disposal Percentage of expired PC’s and laptops which are recycled, reused or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.
5 Total paper consumed and recycled per number of FTE staff Annual volume of paper purchased (by FTE staff) and annual volume of paper disposed of by office recycling programs (by FTE staff) [FTE = full-time equivalent]

Some of the above sustainable IT initiatives are being implemented on South African campuses to varying degrees, but are not often measured, much less compared between universities. While the list of metrics is by no means comprehensive, it is a practical start and the subject of benchmarking will be actively pursued within ASAUDIT’s Green IT SIG.

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