You don't have to be Al Gore to see sustainability is taking off in big ways—especially in tech. From talk of exciting trends, like rapid urbanization and green printing technology, to more depressing realities, like Trash Island becoming a nation, "going green" is quickly becoming a priority—and IT can play a big role.
Businesses are taking advantage of new innovative IT sustainability solutions to improve their efficiency while lessening their environmental footprint at the same time. From green printing to lower energy consumption and beyond, companies can make a positive impact on the planet more than ever before. Here's how modern innovations in printing—and office tech at large—are focusing on sustainability.
Achieve IT sustainability with print innovation
Believe it or not, printers offer businesses one of the best ways to raise their sustainability game. New fleets of printers consume way less electricity than their predecessors, generating attractive cost savings any business would want to capitalize on. Some of them can even automatically turn themselves on when needed and shut themselves down when they're idle (just like C-3PO in Star Wars, except without the British accent), making it easier for a company to reduce its energy usage while preserving the bottom line through green printing.
Printing supplies have also gotten a green upgrade. Modern ink and toner cartridges use recycled materials but still produce the high-quality documents businesses need. Even the packaging the cartridges come in can be made from recycled materials. Savvy businesses can take their green printing a step further and adopt managed print services (MPS), which offer analytical insights and deployment strategies to help companies maximize efficiency.
Reduce energy consumption for a win-win
As any IT pro knows, another item at the top of a company's sustainability agenda is energy. This is one of those "go green, save green" areas, and selecting energy-efficient workstations is often the first order of business. We're not just talking about that nice little Energy Star sticker attached to every computer you've deployed for the last several years—we're way beyond that.
Laptops and desktops, like printers, can enter power-saving mode when they're not in use. They also feature cooling technology that allows them to use less energy while running quietly. Some are even made using post-consumer recycled plastic. If your business wants to unlock greater achievements in the realm of IT sustainability, make sure appliances across the board are energy efficient, too, including refrigerators, dishwashers, lighting, and even the all-important coffee maker that keeps your IT team from getting too grouchy on rough days at the office.
Going beyond gadgets, motion sensors can ensure rooms like the data centre are only lit when in use, further shaving down energy costs. Energy-efficient surge protectors keep devices running in standby mode from wasting power after everyone's left for the night. Special bonus consideration: How sustainable is your energy provider? Go above and beyond for the planet by double-checking your building's energy is coming from renewable sources. If not, it's time to switch.
Innovate at the speed of light
Greening your business can even help your company work smarter, thanks to some handy technology you may already be using. If your company allows employees to work from home, you can notch multiple sustainability wins in your belt at once, including:
- Reduced emissions associated with travel
- Energy savings in an office with less staff
- Fewer costs for office supplies
- Less need for office space in general
- More fulfilled and productive employees
Digitizing workflows is a natural next step for taking your office into the future of efficient technology. Digitization makes time-consuming business processes more productive and removes bottlenecks inhibiting innovation—which boosts productivity and employee satisfaction. What's more, digitizing workflows is also a great digital strategy for helping the business become digitally mature.
Sustainability is far more achievable for businesses today, thanks in large part to a new generation of innovative solutions that emphasize environmental friendliness. If your business hasn't yet explored the many ways it can go green for good, now's the time. Not only can you reduce your environmental impact, but you can reap the rewards of cost savings and opportunities for dynamic business growth. That's the kind of sustainability—both for the business and the planet—everyone can geek out about.