Environmental Impact Initiatives
Since IT Leaders began in 2002, we have tried to minimise our company impact upon the environment.
As we grow in size and sophistication, we have the ability to not only mitigate and minimise our own environmental footprint, but also to significantly contribute to the global efforts to reduce and reverse humanity's negative impact upon the environment. Below shows a timeline of internal efforts implemented to date, and a roadmap for future efforts and projects.
2003 Environmental Implementations
- Internal Branch policies established concerning electricity & lighting use. Specifically:
- All non-essential equipment to be powered down at end of day
- Energy-efficient globes to be used in all branches
2004 Environmental Implementations
- Geographical efficiencies formally inserted into Branch Manager position description. This involves:
- Assigning clients close to the homes of suitably qualified staff engineers wherever possible, in order to result in less driving trips to and from the branches.
- Tracking the daily geographical locations of technicians, and assigning incoming jobs to the closest engineer whenever possible to minimise driving.
- Choosing to utilise recycled technology within IT Leaders Branches where ever possible:
- Much of our internal IT systems were at this stage built on recycled technology. This is simpler for us to achieve than most SME businesses, because we have the inhouse skills to ensure the technology keeps running reliably, and have standy-by redundancy systems in place to ensure business continuity.
- This equipment would otherwise have ended up in landfill.
2005 Environmental Implementations
- Permanently stocking qtys of recycled technology such as PCs and printers. All equipment was carefully refurbished, sold with warranty, and offered to low-need small business clients as an optional alternative to purchasing new systems. Selling recycled technology has minimal impact upon the environment compared to building and selling new equipment. Most clients still choose new equipment due to lifespan/cost considerations.
2006 Environmental Implementations
- We replaced any lead-fueled and fuel inefficient vehicles. We considered purchasing electric-hybrid vechicle technology, but have instead opted to support the newer generation of less poluting vehicles when they arrive within a few years. We are concerned that supporting Hybrids may delay the commercial release of even greener technologies.
- All internal CRT monitors replaced with energy efficient TFT monitors.
2007 Environmental Implementations
- In 2007 we implemented proper paper products recycling at all branches.
- IT Leaders officially supports the Federal Government's decision on eliminating incandescent globes:
2008 Environmental Implementations
- In early 2007 we created a blueprint to raise $1M in supporter-generated charitable contributions towards the Tasmanian Devils Conservation project which desperately needed more funding and public awareness. (Tasmanian Devils are in iminent threat of extinction due to a unique cancer that is wiping out the population.) The fundraising system was intended to begin fundraising in early 2008 after several months of preparation work.
- IT Leaders launches it's DRIVE! IT Management Plans. The advanced technology at the heart of these plans allows us to do around 90% of our daily client IT management tasks from our Network Operations Centre, without ever having to send an engineer onsite. From an environmental perspective, this means susbtantially less vehicle kilometers travelled each year, reducing the carbon footprints and emissions of our operations AND those of the clients we serve. We have already cut per-client kilometers travelled by 40% and expect this to increase to 60% over the next 12 months. We have sold two of our 8 fleet vehicles in the process, despite having grown in turnover by more than 50% in the past 12 months.
- IT Leaders began selling and recommending computers with Intel V-Pro. This technology will allow us to remotely power up entire office environments in order to conduct maintenance schedules, and then power down equipment again on completion, thus saving energy for the clients. It's best leverage can be obtained when there is a critical mass of this equipment at a client location. (eg: One computer with Intel V-Pro and 50 without it is of no significant benefit, so the more we can seel there devices now, the better the environmental result in 1-2 years time.)
2009 Environmental Implementations:
- We have recently implemented Improved recycling of used or dead IT equipment. By partnering with a small local recycling business, we now have multiple options for green disposal:
- Repair and re-marketing of equipment in working order which is saleable. We are using local contacts and publications, and Ebay for selling this used equipment.
- Dismantle and recycle. We now have improved ability to scrap dead or zero value equipment and recycle precious minerals and plastics.
- Improved efficiencies at remote diagnosis and support has meant we have cut the number of per-client travelled kilometers by over 60%
- Virtualisation of our server racks completed. Seven servers reduced to three servers, halving power consumption and cooling requirements.
- Renovations done to Gold Coast office to allow more staff to use less servers and improving energy efficiency of cooling of servers.
- New Brisbane CBD office purchased within 2 blocks of public transport hub so that staff can make easier use of public transport in getting to and from work, and city clients can be serviced on foot.
2010/2011 Environmental Implementations:
- Implemented high density Server 'Blades" architecture in our Private Cloud Computing, to enable lower power draw per client.
- Changed to more energy efficient Data Centres.
- New policy of purchasing small form factor hard drives in all Cloud Infrastructure, company servers and workstations. SFF drives consume less power to run, without a reduction to performance.
- Utlising a small local dismantler where possible, to most efficiently recycle PC equipment. (They will go down to the stage of precious metal extraction from circuit boards).
2012 Environmental Implementations:
- We have begun work on a new strategy to be able to deliver zero carbon Cloud Computing facilities to corporate and government.