What can you do with your IT to minimise your impact on the planet?
Here at MJD, we have always strived to look for increased efficiencies and improvements that can be implemented to better the experience for our clients. With everyone’s increasing awareness on their impact on the environment as you’ll probably be aware MJD started using electric vehicles almost 3 years ago. We decided we’d take our environmental activities to the next step so let us take you through some interesting and thought-provoking ideas that you can incorporate into your IT usage to decrease your impact on the environment and how the way we operate helps reduce our clients IT environmental impact.
Have you ever considered the environmental impact of your email inbox? That’s right, we mean your inbox where you receive your emails on a daily basis. It is a common misconception that it is harmless to store every email and send a quick email, because it doesn’t take up physical space and is so easy to file away. However, did you ever consider the energy used to send that email or to store that email in your file archive?
A recent BBC article (link below for further reading) explored this and reported that if every person in Britain simply sent one less thank you email we could save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year! The carbon footprint of an email, comes from the electricity used by all the devices required in the process of sending an email. The server that sends the email, the server that receives the email, the router in your network, each PC receiving the email.
Now, each individual email has an extremely small impact, but this sparks the discussion of how our behaviour with our IT infrastructure can affect the environment. It is the same for storing an email, this takes up space on your PC or server, and maybe also space on your back up device. This means it’s one more file to store and back up, which if you combine this with everyone in your organisation, equates to more electricity used to store and back up the email, this can also save you money in the cost of your backups as they are often determined by storage requirements.
In the grand scheme of things, a reduction in the emails you send has a relatively small effect on the countries overall carbon emissions. However, there are more impactful ways we as businesses can contribute to making a difference through extending the lifetime of our devices. Here at MJD, we always strive to make sure our clients get the most out of the investment in their devices, however, sometimes it no longer becomes economically viable to repair a machine. In this instance, we always offer device recycling and we work with a local charity, ReBoot who repurpose the PC for less intense situations or break down the equipment to their individual parts and repurpose what can be used and recycle what can’t.
We want to take this a step further and work with our clients to actively seek out opportunities earlier in the devices lifetime to help extend its life and therefore the need to purchase new equipment and recycle the old. We will be getting in touch with our clients over the coming months to discuss with them potential areas for improvement now which would extend the life of the device to try and help our clients increase the return on investment of their devices further while also doing their part for protecting the environment. This in the long term will also save capital costs on renewing devices, the only exception would be where a device is inefficient and needs to be replaced.
Another option can be using refurbished devices, now stock and availability of certain types of devices and specification vary daily therefore, if this is an option you wish to explore with us, we will find out what our suppliers have available and offer you options at the time. This is also a viable option and we can discuss how this would match your requirements both specification and environmental factors to see what options we can find for you.
In addition, at MJD we’ve always taken the approach with our vehicle fleet and site visits of scheduling with the view of combining site visits into geographical areas to maximise time and fuel efficiency. This keeps the services we provide for our clients efficient and also helps us to reduce our impact on the environment. We also have currently operated with two electric company cars for over 3 years and find that the range and useability of these cars more than fits our needs. It has been our intention that when we require to replace one of the vans in our fleet we will be seriously considering an electric option, to further expand our electric fleet as the mileage range has increased and the need for site visits reduced with improvements in remote connections and functionality as such they are now a contender for a van replacement.
As a company and a family, living and working in the beautiful countryside of the Moray Firth, we are always looking for new ways big or small to help reduce our impact on the environment, from collecting crisp packets for recycling (when we were all working in the office pre-COVID19!) to investing in electric vehicles to increasing our use of video conferencing for meetings to avoid travel. Let’s make IT work for YOU and the environment!
Link to BBC Article: Climate change: Can sending fewer emails really save the planet?