The focus on going green is making headlines every day, and in all aspects of our lives. While it is to our advantage to ride the wave of interest and awareness, the Office of Technology Management has practiced responsible computing wherever possible for quite some time.

Sustainability, however, is an approach that benefits not only the organization, but users and communities as well.

In the past few years, we have implemented and used technologies that promote green efforts. We have recently begun promoting awareness of these efforts, and continue to stimulate initiatives that can help save power, paper, ink, and more.

Virtual Computing

Virtual servers and computers operate just like any physical computer. Virtual Computing essentially lets one computer or server do the job of multiple computers or servers. It allows us to host multiple operating systems, such as Windows or Linux, on one device.

By doing this, we reduce the amount of physical devices we must purchase, and consolidate machines that are underutilized. This in turn saves data center space, reduces power consumption, and lowers expenses due to more efficient use of hardware resources.

It also allows us to offer multiple computing environments in classrooms and facilities, without having to invest in additional computers.

OTM has been using virtual technology since 2005.

Remote Access

We often have a need to access the university network or applications from off campus. In the past you, would have traveled to campus to get work done. This would add to your carbon footprint, travel costs, and contribution to greenhouse gases. OTM offers services to access the network and your files remotely, thereby reducing your need to travel.

Learn more about Remote Access and how you can connect to your files and folders when working from home or elsewhere.

Web Conferencing

When you need to meet with colleagues or peers across town or country, it is often time-consuming and can be expensive.

Using LiveClassroom, users can chat, view shared files and applications, work on documents together, speak to each other using a microphone, or view participants using a webcam.

LiveClassroom is available both for academic and administrative uses.

Paper and Ink Conservation

A lot of paper and ink is used when printing out entire web pages, articles, emails, or other electronic material. It is common knowledge that producing paper takes a tremendous toll on our environment. The consequences of paper waste are well known and can be limited. Reducing waste not only lessens the environmental impact, but helps cut costs and energy consumption.

In addition to using recycled paper, OTM is a strong advocate of double-sided printing across the Sawyer Business School. Double-sided printing is mandatory in the Sawyer Computing Center, and we have implemented double-sided print functionality in all department network printers.

As an office we use the web and email as our primary forms of communication. While we recognize that many users may find print communications easier to access, we do our best not to distribute printed newsletters, mailings, or handouts. We also offer most of our tutorials online, making them easier to access anytime, anywhere.

OTM encourages everyone to work, share, and collaborate electronically.

Blackboard

The Blackboard learning system allows faculty and students to share syllabi, presentations, reading material, and assignments on the web. Students can also submit assignments using the digital drop box and collaborate with other students online.

Learn how Blackboard can save on paper and printing costs over time.

Recycling

In addition to recycling paper and ink cartridges, OTM has been recycling old computers and hardware since 1998. We collaborate with local non-profits, day care centers and other organizations, such as Friends of Uganda, to donate computers so that they may be reused in places that are unable to afford new equipment.

Additionally, we ensure that hard drives are wiped clean as per Department of Defense standards, and that we legally follow software licensing rules and regulations.

These are a few of the initiatives and services we offer towards achieving sustainability, and what we'd like to call 'responsible computing.'

Please feel free to contact us if you have additional ideas or methods that will enable us to work towards a greener future.