In IT Services, we're working to make Sussex greener with initiatives to reduce power consumption, recycle computer equipment and save on resources.
Sussex target to reduce carbon emissions
2005 - 2020
tonnes of carbon dioxide produced annually by the HE sector in the UK
To meet the targets in the Climate Change Act, the UK government has to halve carbon emissions over the next forty years. As a result, new requirements are being set for industry and Sussex has adopted a target to reduce carbon emissions by 2020.
One important area where savings must be achieved is in the more efficient use of technology. This is no easy task. As a whole, the higher education sector in the UK uses millions of computers and printers, producing 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. But it's possible to reduce emissions considerably by making sensible and steady changes and IT Services have been working hard to identify the areas where savings can be made.
Estimated annual savings based on our surveys of staff using the videoconferencing facilities at Sussex.
Staff at Sussex use several systems for videoconferencing, enabling them to participate in conferences, research meetings and vivas in locations all over the world.
The dedicated videoconferencing suite in Arundel provides a high-quality service, linking to other institutions with similar videoconference systems.
Staff can also use Adobe connect to host video conferences - and can invite anybody to take part with a standard web browser.
A number of seminar rooms in Fulton are also set up with speakers and cameras, allowing staff to use Skype or Adobe Connect to participate in videoconferences.
We are now automatically detecting student computers which have been waiting at the login screen for ten minutes and putting them to sleep.
Our power management software monitors computer usage and identifies when a computer has been idle with no user logged in. It then puts the device to sleep so that computers are not needlessly using energy when not in use.
We also use automated routines to turn off audiovisual equipment in lecture theatres and seminar rooms. This has reduced power consumption but is also extending the life of expensive equipment with fewer hardware faults since the measures were introduced.
Student computers in the Library:
log you off after
shut down if nobody has logged in after
The Shawcross data centre is now well established. It was designed to meet the current and future technology requirements of the University in an energy-efficient way.
Computers need energy to run, but they also generate heat that can damage their components if it's not dissipated. So computers require a double-dose of energy, firstly to power their own activities but also to keep them cool.
The cooling systems used traditionally in data centres, such as air conditioning, are inefficient because they lower the temperature of the entire room rather than just the computing equipment. Best practice in modern facilities is to place the cooling mechanism directly alongside servers and use systems which can respond to changes in the amount of heat being generated.
The Shawcross facility uses water-cooling units built into the server racks. If less energy has to be put into the cooling mechanisms, the operation is more efficient and the Shawcross data centre has been designed to a world-class standard.
In the Shawcross data centre, servers are cooled much more efficiently than traditional server rooms, with water fed along pipes built into the racks.
A modern higher education environment demands up-to-date and increasingly powerful computing resources.
This means that computers are replaced regularly, generally on a four year cycle. But equipment could be used for longer by other types of organisation, so IT Services has encouraged the re-use of equipment by donating resources to charitable projects such as Computers for Charities.
This can considerably extend the use of equipment and lead to a long working life for computers leaving the campus.
computers recycled every year
Based on the year to July 2011 with computers sent to Computers for Charities.
See also: the Estates and Facilities Management recycling guide on how to dispose of a large range of items including computer equipment, DVDs, mobile phones, batteries and toner cartridges.
Here are four things you can start doing today to help conserve energy and resources:
Print less - and if you have to, use the double-sided printing options where possible to save on paper and reduce your printing costs.
Turn off your wi-fi if you're not using it. It uses a lot of power even if it's just running in the background.
Let your computer sleep - newer computers are designed to sleep and wake quickly and Windows 7 uses substantially less power than previous versions when snoozing. If you're a laptop user, letting your computer sleep will make the battery last longer too.
In IT Services, we're working hard to make Sussex greener:
There are a number of ways you can help the University to achieve its targets to reduce carbon emissions:
We supply environmentally friendly paper for the student printers on the campus.
Updated on 14 March 2013