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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

SU e-Waste update

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

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 beskikbaare-Afval Prosedures.

UCT follows Stellenbosch U with rideshare cloud service

Monday, January 28th, 2013

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.

SU launches rideshare “cloud” service

Friday, September 7th, 2012

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.

FindaLift screenshot

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 service merely puts members of the community who have rides to share into contact with members who need lifts. But it is important to read the terms and conditions and the excellent FAQs.

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.

Greenpeace’s Green Electronics Survey #3

Friday, January 7th, 2011

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.

View Greenpeace’s “snapshot of results” or download the full report (pdf).

One wonders how many buying decisions are influenced by such a survey….?

First SU admin building installs solar PV

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

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 …

Greenpeace calls for Internet companies to use renewable energy in data centres

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

From DatacenterDynamics:

Following its public outburst criticizing Facebook’s choice of location for its new Oregon data center, and more specifically the power supplier that provides power in the area, environmentalist group Greenpeace is going after all services provided over the Internet, referring to them cumulatively as “cloud.”

Citing electricity-usage and carbon-emission statistics in a 2008 report by the Climate Group, a non-profit organization that lists many prominent corporations and city, regional and state governments from around the world, Greenpeace’s new report titled Make IT Green calls for companies that provide services over the Internet to build their data centers in areas where power is generated by more renewable sources, such as hydro, wind or solar.

The group also calls on market leaders, such as Facebook and Google, to use their power to advocate for changes to government climate policies.