Green IT: Bit by bit, Your Choices Matter


The rapid technological evolution of the last few decades has improved our lives in countless ways. But it also means more energy consumption, waste and environmental impact. The good news? We can make choices that both serve our technological needs and support the environment.


Why it Matters

Without delving too deeply into today’s specific environmental challenges, it’s evident that our world is grappling with climate change, the rapid depletion of natural resources, and our worries over air quality, among others. But here’s the good part: you can make a difference. Whether you’re an apprentice just starting your first role after leaving school or the Managing Director, everyone plays a part in shaping sustainable practices in a business. By advocating and implementing some or all of these green choices, you’re not only contributing to the preservation of our planet, but the business also saves money. Furthermore, sharing your efforts on social media with your customers and suppliers isn’t just to brag; it’s an open invitation for them to join the trend and perhaps consult with a proactive business like yours on how to initiate similar changes. Every individual in a business has the power to make a difference.


Here are 13 areas to focus on to reduce your tech carbon footprint:-


1. Power Down

Encourage staff to turn off computers and equipment when not in use. This simple act can save a significant amount of energy and prolong the life of your hardware. Use power-saving policies to automate this where possible.


2. Think Before You Print

Printing consumes energy, paper, and ink/toner. Ask yourself: Is this print necessary? Be mindful of the supply chains involved, from the tree that becomes the paper to the van that brings the ink/toner cartridge.


3. Maximise Hardware Lifespan

Before simply replacing IT equipment because of a fault or performance issues, consult your IT support or virtual IT director for potential solutions. Consider upgrading components, like transitioning from traditional hard drives to solid state drives (SSDs), to enhance performance instead of replacing entire systems. If all data is stored on a server or in the cloud, and the end users are technically confident, the transition can be seamless. Extending the life of your devices by just a year can significantly reduce waste and capital expenditure.


4. Server Hardware

Before considering a server upgrade / replacement, conduct a thorough assessment of its performance and current security update availability to examine if you even need to upgrade / replace at all. Often, opting for pre-owned hardware can offer notable cost and environmental benefits. However, do take into account, the energy consumption of both new and used hardware against today’s high electricity costs.


5. Embrace Hybrid Working

Since the Covid pandemic, working trends and attitudes have clearly evolved and hybrid working has become more common. By promoting such working patterns, we can reduce daily commutes, leading to fewer emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.


6. Streamline Data Storage

Avoid data hoarding. Unnecessary storage not only requires more storage devices but also more energy to maintain and backup. For more information on this topic, check out “3 really good reasons to housekeep your data” at


7. Choose Green Data Centres

If you’re using cloud services, start a conversation with your datacentre or cloud provider and ask about their efforts and practices to promote environmental sustainability.


8. Server Virtualisation

Opt for multiple virtual servers on a single physical server rather than numerous physical ones. This strategy both conserves energy and reduces costs. If you’re running virtual servers across multiple physical servers, consider consolidating them. This further reduces energy use and can also decrease IT support and software licensing costs.


9. Efficient Software

The efficiency of the software that your business uses can have a direct impact on your IT energy consumption. Poorly optimised software, whether it’s sluggish SQL queries or cumbersome applications, can place unnecessary strain on your systems. This not only slows down tasks but also consumes more power than necessary. Beyond SQL, look at your entire software suite: if certain applications or reports are consistently slow or unresponsive, it might be a sign of inefficiencies. During review meetings with your software providers, don’t hesitate to raise concerns about performance. By streamlining software choices and addressing inefficient code, you can enhance productivity while reducing your environmental footprint.


10. Employee Awareness

Encouraging an energy-aware culture within the workplace is important. Perhaps start by establishing a clear kWh baseline for your company’s current energy consumption. This baseline serves as a reference point to understand the amount of energy being consumed regularly. With this information in hand, set realistic targets for energy reduction. By making energy consumption tangible and trackable, staff can see the direct impact of their efforts. Regularly share updates and milestones with the team to foster a sense of collective responsibility and achievement.


11. Engage with Vendors

Rather than constantly pursuing the newest models or upgrades, it’s essential to engage in meaningful discussions with your vendors. Ask them about the energy efficiency of their products and how they can aid in reducing energy consumption. In many cases, newer doesn’t necessarily mean better in terms of energy efficiency. By being informed and choosing products that align with your green IT objectives, you can make smarter, sustainable choices without compromising on performance or capability (or cost).


12. Responsible Recycling

When retiring laptops and desktop computers, ensure they are properly recycled and don’t end up taking up room in your offices or worse still, ending up at landfill. While there are several electronic device recycling businesses out there, charities like Wakefield Technology 4 All Hub ( can repurpose your old devices to benefit those in need. Both types of organisation can provide your business with confidence and certainty when erasing your data from your equipment by providing your business with certified data erase certificates.


13. Network Infrastructure Audit

Take a close look at your network’s overall architecture. It’s not uncommon to find lots of redundant mini-switches or too many wireless access points that were added over time to address immediate needs but are now creating inefficiencies. These not only contribute to unnecessary energy consumption but can also increase the complexity of managing and troubleshooting the network. Streamlining your network setup by consolidating devices and optimising placement can reduce energy usage and make the network more manageable and efficient.




Every choice, whether big or small, has the potential to impact our environment. With these Green IT strategies, not only can your business run more efficiently, but they can also contribute to a more sustainable world.

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