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Posts Tagged ‘Green IT’

Solar PV energy for new IT building?

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Construction on the IT Division’s new building commences early in 2014. In line with the goal of constructing and operating a “green” building, the IT Division has, along with the Facilities Management Division, ensured that the design incorporates the necessary for solar PV arrays on the roof and integration into the energy supply. IT has requested the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) to model solar power generation for the building and to calculate the financial pay back period.

The intention is that, based on the models, the IT Division will approach the Finance Division for a loan to incorporate solar energy generation into the building construction project.

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.

SA Green IT SIG Webinar 2

Friday, April 30th, 2010

South Africa’s higher education sector held its second Green IT special interest group (SIG) webinar yesterday under the auspices of the South African University Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT).  There were 13 participants from SU, UCT, NMMU and RU. Charl Souma of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Dolf Krige from Stellenbosch University (SU) each gave a slide and audio presentation on sustainable IT initiatives on their respective campuses via Adobe Connect’s webinar infrastructure. (more…)

Syracuse U builds greenest data centre?

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Syracuse University and IBM have designed and built a Green Data Center that will not only house the university’s ICT infrastrastructure, but also double as an energy efficiency laboratory. It is expected to consume 50% less energy than a conventional DC:

SA Green IT SIG webinar

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

South Africa’s higher education sector held an inaugural Green IT special interest group (SIG) webinar recently under the auspices of the South African University Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT).  Steve Viljoen from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and Ralph Pina from Stellenbosch University (SU) each gave a slide and audio presentation on sustainable IT initiatives on their respective campuses via Adobe Connect’s webinar infrastructure. The idea of a webinar emphasised the role that IT can play in reducing travel and carbon footprints in the HE sector.

The feedback was very positive as to the content and the user experience of the webinar:

Webinar evaluation

The webinar was attended by approximately 18 individuals from 5 institutions (SU, Cape Town (UCT), UNISA, Pretoria (UP) and NMMU). To date 12 individuals from 8 institutions (out of 23) have indicated a definite interest in participating in the activities of the SIG and sharing knowledge and best practices. The institutions are UCT, Walter Sisulu (WSU), UNISA, UP, NMMU, Rhodes (RU), Witwatersrand & SU.

Sustainable IT initiatives in universities

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

The following fascinating chart plots sustainable IT interventions in terms of implementation difficulty versus impact. It was created as part of a study of strategies employed by universities and community colleges in the state of  Maryland, USA by Suresh Balakrishnan and Donald Spicer (2008). The sizes of the bubbles represent the implementation stage and pervasiveness of the interventions (small = in planning and/or at few sites; large = mature and/or broadly in place). (Click on the graphic to view it at full size)

Analysis of Sustainable IT Initiatives in HE (source: Balakrishnan, S. & Spicer, D.Z. 2008. "Climate change, campus commitments and IT". Research bulletin, Issue 20. Boulder, USA: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. Available from: http://www.educause.edu/ecar.

Analysis of Sustainable IT Initiatives in HE (source: Balakrishnan, S. & Spicer, D.Z. 2008. "Climate change, campus commitments and IT". Research bulletin, Issue 20. Boulder, USA: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. Available from: http://www.educause.edu/ecar.

(more…)

Sustainable IT Competency Centre formed on campus

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Having learnt from successfully driving other cross-institutional projects such as the web portal project, we are experimenting with creating another virtual structure to drive Sustainable IT (SustIT) across the university. There are many players involved who do not report into the IT Division, so we have formed the SustIT CC with the following goals:

  • Develop, share and disseminate knowledge through collaboration
  • Create awareness on campus of Sustainable IT
  • Coordinate various SustIT projects and project teams
  • Advise management with regard to policy – and create policy
  • Be a resource for the emerging Sustainable Campus & Energy initiatives
  • Liaise with ASAUDIT’s Green IT SIG and EDUCAUSE’s SUSTAIN group.

(more…)

HE IT Directors start Green IT SIG

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Last week at the Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology’s (ASAUDIT) bi-annual meeting, the IT Directors resolved to start a Green IT special interest group (SIG). Yours truly was asked to convene the SIG. It was gratifying to note the interest from many of the universities and professionals who were present. A surprising number of us are trained in environmental science and related fields too, I discovered.

Buying the right, green PC

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Greener computing does not simply mean minimising energy consumption of the PC during its operational life, but also during its full lifecycle from “cradle to grave”. It also means minimising material throughput i.e. recycling and re-using, and disposing of hazardous e-waste responsibly. So while much of this blog and a big part of our sustainable IT campaign is focused on energy efficiency in operations and e-waste, it is also important to review our PC procurement policies. (more…)

Video: Adobe’s green HQ

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Greenmonk reports that Adobe’s HQ in San Jose, California, has achieved triple platinum certification in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Watch the fascinating video:

Microsoft relaunches Green IT site

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Microsoft recently launched it’s new-look Environment site, including a Green IT section which focuses on energy and cost savings. White papers, case studies, energy calculators and solutions deal with energy savings in the data centre and on the desktop – and also with the benefits of using online collaboration tools instead of long-distance travel to meetings.