We're competitive here at the University of Michigan. We want to offer the best education. We want to have the best researchers. And, of course, we want to have the best football team.
However, when it comes to the environment, one University alone cannot be the winner. We only win if all of us work together to radically reverse the negative effects that humankind is having on the environment.
Truth is there isn't a lot of magic to what we're doing here at the University of Michigan with green IT. The steps we’re taking can be followed by just about any business, university or other organization. You just need to make it a priority.
If it helps, here are some of the lessons we've learned along the way:
- An effective effort will need to include a series of small projects, which can engage people in different ways and on different topics. For example, we working on ten different initiatives such as eWaste recycling, data centers, workstations and student awareness.
- There are a large number of people that are passionate for environmental issues. You can leverage this passion by developing volunteer opportunities to help. Our teams are staffed by volunteers who graciously donate considerable time to help with our efforts. We absolutely couldn’t do it our volunteers. People like Julie Weatherbee are what make us a leader and the best. (We also have a very small-dedicated team to help support the volunteers and keep things moving smoothly.)
- Make it as easy as you can for people to "do the right thing." For example, people will buy green equipment if it's easy for them to identify which items meet the green standards. Also, not everyone knows how to set-up power saving settings on their workstations, so departmental IT staff are critical to pushing these changes across their units.
If it will help you, please use any of our materials off our web site http://climatesavers.umich.edu/index.html to get your own program going.
You’ll find best practices for personal computers and data centers.
You'll also find ideas for projects that may energize your community around green IT. Our Big Ten competitors such as Ohio State and the University of Illinois are using these resources too.
Lastly, have some fun! Just power down before you go play.