How Green Computing Can Benefit Schools

By making the transition to green computing, schools can reduce their energy consumption, save on their power bill, extend their budget and help to save the environment.
How Schools Can Benefit
At recent webinar on green computing, participants discussed steps that schools could take to reduce their energy consumption of their technology systems. This would not only reduce environmental impact, but also help cut their expenditures and save on their budgets.

Schools can benefit from programs such as IBM’s Big Green Innovations, which is aimed at helping schools and businesses design more energy-efficient data centers to reduce power consumption. IBM also buys back and disposes of used computer systems.

Understanding how much energy is being consumed is a major step to solving the problem. There are a number of steps that schools could take, beginning with calculating which systems are using the most energy and determining which of them could be placed in idle mode when they are not in use.

The IT systems account for an estimated 45 percent of energy use and power and cooling infrastructure accounts for 55 percent, yet it is also estimated that only 20 percent of the average school IT system is being used at any time.

How Schools Can Use Green Computing Practices

There are several ways that schools can green-up their computer systems:

  • purchase only ENERGY STAR-compliant products;
  • use an Intranet along with Microsoft SharePoint technology for posting internal information (schools can reduce the amount of storage space needed on individual machines and reduce the number of printed emails);
  • use server virtualization technologies to combine a number of servers onto one or two hardware systems to save energy;
  • cut power consumption by setting monitors to go into sleep mode; and
  • give students access to virtual schooling at home to cut down on the use of electricity and gas consumption. This is particularly effective for students who live in rural areas and have to travel further to get to school.

Arun Kumar, MVP, is the manager of operations for the Website Dreams-Central. He can be reached via the Website at