The concept of Green Information Technology (Green IT) has been around for more than two decades. However, it has become popular in recent times as more people are becoming aware of the effects of our activities on the environment.
The idea behind Green IT is to promote environmentally sustainable practices in every aspect of computing – from manufacturing gadgets to operating and disposing of them. This concept is more relevant than ever today as we are dependent on technology.
The construction industry is one such industry that is driven by IT. Significant computing power is necessary to facilitate both major and minor processes such as site planning, building visualization, project management, cost estimation, and more.
Hence, construction companies can contribute their quota to protecting the environment by adopting Green IT practices. In this post, we’ll highlight some Green IT tips for construction businesses.
1. Choose Cloud Computing
Construction companies rely on numerous apps and the data they produce for smooth collaboration and operational efficiency. Rather than changing any of these time-tested processes, you can opt for cloud storage and virtualization.
In the past, it was a standard practice for companies to use local servers and in-house storage devices. This was safer and generally more reliable. However, things have changed so much over the years.
Today, there are cloud solutions that are more secure and reliable. Moreover, cloud computing gives you access to unlimited storage, and all the apps needed to make your operations run smoothly.
By opting for cloud solutions for construction industry, construction companies can save a lot of money and reduce their energy consumption. Also, working with the cloud eliminates the need for a lot of hardware and cuts down the amount of waste that companies produce.
Ultimately, cloud computing lessens the carbon emissions from your construction company and makes your operations more flexible.
2. Buy Energy-Efficient Devices
Since 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy have been running the Energy Star program. You will find the Energy Star logo on devices that are energy efficient. Energy-efficient appliances use less power, so they are more environmental-friendly. They also reduce your energy bill by as much as 30 percent.
You can promote Green IT in your workplace by making it a policy for everyone in your organization to use energy-efficient IT devices. Moreover, you can also check the Energy Star website and research online for the most efficient devices in terms of energy consumption.
3. Reduce Paper Usage
The level of paper usage in most construction companies is astounding. In the past, this used to be the standard practice. Paper was necessary to draw plans, record the results of inspections, and much more. However, today, all of this can be done digitally.
Therefore, the use of paper is redundant. Millions of trees are cut every year to make paper. Additionally, transporting the wood, pulp, and even the finished product adds to the harmful emissions in the environment. The paper industry contributes to air, land, and water pollution.
Cutting down the use of paper in your company can go a long way to reduce the carbon footprint of your organization, and the effect of your activities on the environment.
Obviously, cutting out paper usage is a gradual process. There are times when using paper is necessary. In these instances, you can ensure that both sides of the paper are used.
4. Make Recycling a Company Policy
Another way to promote Green IT in your construction business is to make recycling IT equipment a company policy. Everyone has a smartphone today as well as a laptop. This is essential for communication and for getting things done at work. However, what happens to these devices when they reach the end of their lifecycle?
Many of us change our gadgets every year. An estimated 50 million tonnes of electronic waste is produced every year, and the number is growing. The improper disposal of electronic waste is harmful to the environment in multiple ways. When computers and phones are burned or put in landfills, toxic materials get into the air, water, and soil. This affects animals, plants, and humans.
Recycling IT gadgets is an environmental-friendly option. When you transport your gadgets to a recycling plant, it is broken down into pieces, and the different components are separated. For example, valuable metals are extracted from recycled gadgets, and this reduces the exploitation of natural resources. Recycling is not only good for the environment, but it also creates jobs.
Making recycling policies for your construction company ensures that it becomes engrained in the corporate culture. You can set up a collection point at work where employees deposit their IT devices when they want to discard it.
From there, electronic waste can be transported to the appropriate recycling plants. This takes away the responsibility from your employees and guarantees that their gadgets are recycled.
There are many other Green IT tips that construction companies can implement. For example, using rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones. Also, make it a policy for everyone in your workplace to turn off their computer screens when they are being used and shut down their devices after work each day.
Green IT is an emerging trend to which every organization must conform. The construction industry is one of the biggest in the world. There are millions of construction projects every year. Therefore, the impact of construction companies adopting green IT practices can be significant.
It is important to note that choosing green IT is an ongoing process. You must continuously look for ways to reduce the negative impact of your company’s activities on the environment.
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