Green ICT Guidelines

The goal of Green Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is all about reducing the use of energy, carbon emissions, waste, materials and space while improving process efficiency and saving money. The guidelines below describe the recommendations for the acquisition, use and disposal of ICT devices.

Acquisition

  1. Choose ICT products with energy-efficient certification.  Check whether the product is certified as energy efficient.  For example,
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  2. As a bigger monitor consumes more energy than a smaller one, select the right-sized monitor to save energy.
  3. Use equipment with multiple instead of single function to perform tasks such as photocopying, scanning, faxing and printing to save space and energy.
  4. Select products that have built-in auto-sleep mode function.  This will reduce power consumption.
  5. When purchasing new ICT equipment, calculate the lifespan costs of the shortlisted products like the purchase price, the total energy cost during the lifespan of the equipment based on energy consumption and expected usage profile, maintenance cost, service cost and so on in the Total Cost of Ownership for comparisons.  Also, take into consideration the disposal and recycling requirements of unserviceable equipment when choosing a product.
  6. As desktop computers consume more electricity than laptops and thin clients, change to laptops or thin clients whenever appropriate, and select newly designed desktop computers which use the same components as laptops.
  7. Include “compliance to relevant green standards” as one of the tender specifications whenever applicable.  Choose green compliance products whenever possible. Choose green vendors and those who care for the environment wherever practical.

Use

  1. Power on the PCs, data projectors, visualizers, monitors, printers, scanners, speakers and the like only when necessary.
  2. Use the sleep mode on the PCs and ICT equipment when not in use.
  3. Properly configure the BIOS settings, hardware-based power options, operating system power settings, group policies and the like for energy efficiency.
  4. Most ICT devices such as PCs, printers, wireless access point and the like are not constantly in use 24 x 7.  Use timer switches to control their on/off and make them available for use only in the specific hours.
  5. Use shared network printers rather than decentralized personal printers which only have a particularly low usage ratio.
  6. As public computers are often used to perform lighter tasks such as internet surfing, word processing, emailing and the like, they can be made thinner for energy-saving.
  7. Set the brightness of monitors to around 70%.
  8. Remove active screensavers as it requires energy from the monitor and the PC to sustain a screensaver.
  9. Set a lower brightness for data projectors to save energy and prolong the lifetime of the lamp.
  10. Increase the use of electronic resources, communication and storage to reduce printing costs and paper consumption.  For example, send documents as e-mail attachments rather than in printed form.
  11. View softcopy of documents on screen and use software technologies to make comments and online collaboration.  Print hardcopies only when absolutely necessary.
  12. When printing is unavoidable, select duplex (two-sided) printing, print multiple pages per sheet, decrease print margins and use smaller fonts to save paper.
  13. Use 100% recycled paper for printing to save trees, greenhouse gas and landfill space.
  14. Regularly remove unwanted files from the PC to reduce search time and thus save energy.
  15. Optimize the applications that run on personal desktops and server.  Inefficient applications that contribute little business value should be optimized or removed to reduce machine loading. Employing software asset management techniques ensures only required applications are used.
  16. Rigorous maintenance of ICT equipment ensures operating efficiency.
  17. Clean the inside and the outside of the ICT equipment to increase cooling efficiency, save energy and extend equipment lifetime.
  18. Physical servers and storage have a direct impact on power, cooling requirements and associated carbon emissions.  Consolidation and virtualization of infrastructure can reduce the number of physical ICT devices and hence the environmental impact.
  19. Using ICT technologies (such as video conferencing, collaboration, remote working, etc.) to reduce travel.

Recycling

  1. Redeploy old computers and ICT devices for other possible functions (for example, data backup, performance monitoring, etc.) whenever they are still serviceable, or donate them to schools, nonprofit organizations and others in need.  If they cannot be re-used, recycle them or ensure they are handled by eco-friendly organizations for green disposal.
  2. Select usable parts of old ICT devices to make new items.
  3. Constantly review the lifecycle of ICT products and prepare a disposal plan for those that are no longer required.
  4. Arrange proper disposal of batteries and other waste that can damage the environment.

 

2013

 

csc@cityu.edu.hk