Green IT: Purchasing

IT Purchases: Buying Green

Today, there is an ever-increasing number of "green" options available when making IT-related purchases. From recycled paper to Energy Star-rated computers, making a smart choice up front could make a lot of difference. Work with your Local Support Provider to make sure that you are choosing the technology that not only best fits your work requirements, but also is as green as possible.

  • Consider small form factor or all-in-one desktops when possible - they use slightly less power and significantly less materials than mini-towers or towers.
  • Purchase new displays every other computer replacement cycle, instead of every replacement cycle. If this option is selected, make sure that displays are high-quality displays and attempt to buy displays that support the digital connections that will become more standard going forward.
  • Purchase desktops that are Energy Star 5.0-compliant. Almost all current desktops can achieve Energy Star 4.0 compliance, but less than a third currently comply with the more stringent Energy Star 5.0.
  • Replace CRT monitors at the end of their useful life with LCD monitors. LCD monitors use significantly less energy (and therefore cost less to run), generate less heat, take up less space, cause less damage to the environment when discarded, and weigh less (easier to carry and have a smaller carbon footprint when shipped).
  • Purchase multiple pieces of equipment from the same vendor at the same time to reduce cost and carbon footprint associated with multiple shipments.
  • Request fewer manuals and copies of drivers/installation media when placing bulk equipment orders.
  • Work with vendors when placing bulk equipment orders to recieve them without individual packaging.
  • Consider purchasing solid-state drives instead of traditional hard drive technologies in order to reduce power consumption. As the technology evolves, these drives will increase in capacity, and decrease in price.
  • Do not buy a bigger monitor than you need. A 19" monitor can use 30% more energy than a 17" monitor.

For information on power usage of desktops and laptops in common use at the University, see the Approximate Desktop & Laptop Power Usage page.

From more information, visit Penn's Green Purchasing web site.

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Date Posted: March 5, 2013

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