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The plan

The goal is to improve the eco-efficiency of IT operations i.e. to provide better ICT services and infrastructure while minimising energy consumption and material throughput, and thus waste streams including e-waste.

IT metabolism

The approach has three themes:

  1. Address the full lifecycles of computer and networking equipment, packaging, consumables and related equipment, from procurement, through operations to decommissioning and disposal, with the goal of minimising energy and material throughput.
  2. Minimise energy-usage (and heat generation) of the Data Centre as well as by computers and network equipment and electronic peripherals on the rest of the campus, whether in offices, lecture theatres, laboratories or computer user areas  (CUAs).
  3. Investigate and propose solutions for minimising energy and material throughput on the real and virtual campusses through the application of information and telecommunications technology (ICT).

A short summary of possible interventions for the three themes follows:

Asset lifecycles:

  • Integrate energy-efficiency into the criteria for selecting PCs and peripherals for procurement.
  • Integrate energy-efficiency into the criteria for capacity planning and server procurement.
  • Recommend energy-efficient devices to campus users.
  • Institute an e-waste initiative for disposing of electronic devices responsibly.

ICT energy usage:

  • Baseline energy consumption through measurement. The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric will be used initially. PUE is the ratio of Total Data Centre power consumption to power consumption by IT computing and network equipment. In general, a PUE=3 means that for every watt going to the computers, 2 watts are going to the air-conditioning, power distribution, lighting, etc. Most data centres operate on PUEs between 2 and 3. The objective is to get PUE to approach 1 as closely as possible.
  • In order to minimise PUE, look at server virtualisation, decommissioning unused/under-utilised/energy-inefficient servers, enabling server power management software to minimise the heat load and energy consumption.
  • Investigate air-conditioning efficiency, optimisation of ventilation and equipment placement to prevent hotspots.
  • Improve the efficiency of air-handling in the Data Centre through minimising the volume of air to be cooled, cold-hot aisle insulation, raising temperature set-points, etc.
  • Minimise the number of servers by removing unproductive machines and virtualising.
  • Investigate the efficiencies of power supplies, power distribution units, uninterruptible power supplies and other power converters.
  • Educate campus users about utilising PC power management to minimise consumption.
  • Promote the replacement of PCs with notebooks and CRT displays with LCD displays.
  • Investigate central management of PC energy policies.
  • Control CUA/lab computer power consumption intelligently and automatically.

ICT contribution to sustainability on campus: