Make the office eco-friendly with IT

Growing reliance on IT to support the business means rising energy costs, but there are ways to leverage IT to keep a lid on expenses in the office.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

For an average office building, IT can account for up to 70 percent of the total electricity used.

According to Daniel Sim, sustainability business consultant with Fuji Xerox Singapore, energy costs  in a few years' time will account for more than half of a typical company's IT budget. This highlighted the need to review work processes and equipment used to identify efficiencies that can be gained, Sim said.

Some of the eco-friendly IT features in equipment include functions such as print-on-demand, where workers start the print process only when they reach any of the company's printers on the network, he said.

"This is supposed to reduce waste by as much as 30 percent from uncollected printouts, and it also keeps confidential documents from lying around," said Sim.

Another way to help companies go paper-less is an integrated platform where documents can be scanned and uploaded onto a central server, which can then be shared in meetings or accessed over mobile devices.

There are also programs that allow organizations to track and compare how much a business department prints versus other departments, to raise awareness over usage habits.

A system is also available to project how a company's electricity and paper consumption stack up against the industry average.

Companies can also look at virtualization to reduce the amount of hardware needed, Sim said.

Still, a company can have all the fancy IT equipment and policies in place, but at the end of the day, it will be just as important for employees to be onboard the company's green mission--so utilities are not wasted or excessively consumed.

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