GLRPPR Sector Resource: Green IT Best Practices at the University of Michigan
Green IT Best Practices at the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan has an award-winning history of sustainability initiatives, including research and student activism as well as campus facilities-related efforts. Environmental conservation programs on campus include alternative transportation, energy audits of and improvements to campus buildings, green purchasing, use of renewable energy, a robust recycling program, and sustainable building standards. Before 2007, however, information technology (IT) had largely been ignored, until Google founder and Michigan alumnus Larry Page invited the university to become a founding member of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI).
CSCI is a nonprofit group of eco-conscious consumers, businesses, and conservation organizations with the goals of improving computing efficiency and implementing power management tools. While the CSCI limited its scope to workstation power management and purchasing Energy Star workstations, U-M created Climate Savers Computing Initiative @ U-M (CSCI @ U-M) to address IT environmental issues more broadly, such as individual computing practices and data/server impacts on campus. The goal is to make green computing practices the norm so that the project's work will continue beyond the scheduled completion date of January 2010. Additionally, U-M made a commitment to influence other universities and the IT industry to follow its lead in adopting green practices by engaging with other universities on sustainability issues and leveraging purchasing power with major IT vendors.
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