Non-profit uses green IT savings to put more money into stewardship

So Others Might Eat, a non-profit in the Washington, D.C., area worked with IT services company Analysys to squeeze more money out of its operations budget.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

SOME's computers are used in part for instruction purposes.


Thinking green has helped Washington area non-profit So Others Might Eat (SOME) make sure more donations actually go to directly aiding its cause and not feeding its operational budget. Although green IT wasn't the only factor, changes to the non-profit's server infrastructure have directly contributed to a $7,000 cut in annual electricity costs.

Jason Benner, IT director for SOME, who works with IT services consulting company Analysys, says roughly 10 percent of the non-profit's budget goes to utility costs so this was a big focus of its green initiatives. By adopting server virtualization, SOME was able to turn off 10 servers agency-wide (SOME has 40 different locations), while adding five virtual servers to its infrastructure mix for increased functionality. The original impetus for the virtualization project was a dirth of rackspace, Benner says. By taking that hardware out of commission, SOME decreased its electricity usage by 10,000 kilowatt hours per year, or 7.2 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The agency will actually be able to add 8 virtual servers over the next 12 months to support its infrastructure, which is a factor for its computer lab facilities.

Other green initiatives that SOME has used to save money and improve its green credentials include replacing its incandescent light bulbs with LED and CFL bulbs, installing low-flush toilets, swapping the windows in four residential program buildings with more efficient ones, and adopting 20 programmable thermostats.

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