Green IT

Wharton Computing Changes Monitor Sleep Mode Settings.

Huntsman Hall has over 500 public computers and about 570 monitors, since each group study room houses two monitors. In 2009, Wharton Computing and Information Technology (WCIT) changed the sleep mode on the monitors to automatically power down all monitors in Huntsman after 1 hour of inactivity. This has saved over $8,000/year and over 93,000 kWh annually. For details and utilization rates, see the Wharton Computing blog.

Double-Sided Printer Default Saves Hundreds of Trees

In 2008, after much legwork, WCIT earned the buy-in of faculty, staff and students and was able to change the default printer setting on all public printers from single-sided to double-sided. A further adjustment to the printer settings stops printing on all abandoned print jobs. The two changes together save approximately 2.4 million sheets of paper per year, which saves Wharton $24,000 in paper, $14,000 in toner and over 267 trees annually.

Data Centers - Cooling and Optimization

The newest Vance Hall data center was built using in-row cooling, which focuses cooling energy directly towards the systems that require it rather than relying on larger chillers to reduce the ambient temperature.

Wharton was an early adopter of server virtualization technology, which essentially consolidates computing capacity and allows for dynamic management of the system, rather than relying on a larger number of servers with a lower utilization rate. This effectively reduces energy consumption by more fully utilizing existing processor and memory cycles.

Classroom Technology Timers

Since classrooms are not used 24 hours a day, all technology equipment shuts down at a set time each night in all Wharton buildings. For many classrooms, this is essential for energy conservation since they are equipped with Wharton's high-tech podiums, each of which contain a computer and monitor and controls that adjust the height of the podium itself, lighting levels in the room, the window shades, projection screens, and video cameras for recording lectures.

WCIT Offices Go Green

As a department, WCIT sets an example for other Wharton divisions by greening their own office behavior, and generating ideas for green initiatives. A WCIT Green Committee has been formed and meets every other month to develop ideas and recommendations that address the environmental impact of computing at Wharton. Coffee mugs are in a cupboard next to the coffee machine, replacing all paper and Styrofoam cups. Lunches are ordered by the tray rather than in box lunches to cut down on packaging waste. Adam Tuttle's new "FreeBees" application creates an internal bulletin board for equipment, books and other goods that can be donated or used by someone else rather than thrown away. Joe Cruz brought in a Kill-a-Watt energy monitor to measure the energy consumption of each WCIT staff member to encourage small changes with big impact, like removing laptop batteries when laptops are docked. Additional recycling bins were added to the WCIT office in Vance Hall to reduce waste in landfills and better accommodate larger volumes of recyclables.

WCIT Blog Focuses on the Greening of Wharton Computing

WCIT is now using their blog to talk about green issues facing their department. Check it out!