Green IT Initiatives: Reducing Information Technology's Ecological Footprint

The information technology department at Grand Valley State University has worked hard to reduce their ecological footprint. Since 1994, IT has diligently worked to recycle and reuse all possible components.

Computer Life Cycle

Maximizing the IT budget has always been a priority. When an office machine is replaced the retired computer comes back to the help desk area. the hard drive is wiped clean and a new image is placed on the machine. The machine is then deployed back to the campus community replacing machines that are older. It may also go into the Kiosk stations or be used as a special purpose machine.

Machines that do not get recycled back out to the campus may be used for parts to keep repair costs down and to reuse as many components as possible.

Once a machine is at the end of its life cycle at GVSU, it is donated to charity. We have computers in many Elementary schools in the area, local charity organizations and as far away as the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

The parts of the machines that can no longer be used are sent to a vendor who recycles the components.

Resource saving initiatives

In 2004, Grand Valley State University's IT department replaced over 1200 CRT monitors in all computer labs with flat screen monitors. This reduced the consumption of electricity by approximately 70%. All of the CRT monitors were donated to charities.

Based on this principle, all lab and classroom computers were replaced during the spring/summer semester of 2009. These new 1400 machines consume 17% less electricity than the old machines.

Classroom video projectors are now programmed to automatically turn off at Midnight if they were left on.

With the beginning of the Fall 2009 semester duplex printing became the default printing option in the majority of the computer labs. As of July 15, 2010, the transition to duplex printing has saved over 9 million pages of paper resulting in a cost saving of $57,000.

Page last modified March 10, 2011