Greening the Library!
The Green Library team got together a little later than some teams (in February 2015) but is already well on the way to achieving the Bronze award (with even some completed actions in Silver and Gold too!).
Our team is made up of 6 people from across the library service, all with a keen interest in the environment, recycling and reusing. We also have strong advocates for cycling, Fairtrade and vintage within the team which helps to motivate us to achieve the Green Impact awards.
On checking the actions for Bronze, we realised that we already behave in a ‘green’ way in several areas of our service, from printing and using recycled paper to switching PCs off at the end of the day. We have kept our initial momentum going with regular meetings to review our progress and by allocating actions to individuals in the group. It’s been a fun way of getting a group of people together whose paths don’t always cross under normal circumstances.
So far, we have also managed some additional actions such as setting up a system for collecting used stamps to give to charity and providing composting bins for food waste in all the library kitchens.
The impact of composting food waste is environmental, but also visible, and we believe this is of paramount importance in changing behaviours for greener living – if you can physically see the result of one small action it is both rewarding and motivational to continue. We’ve been able to tell library staff about the lifecycle of their composted food and it really helps that it is dealt with on campus and is then used to feed the University gardens. When they are looking out at the beautiful flowers on campus, they can think “my banana skins helped those flowers to grow”!
It’s been great to meet other Green Impact teams across the university and we particularly enjoyed attending the afternoon tea as part of Fairtrade Fortnight. This was made all the better by winning a couple of Fairtrade prizes for coming second for the most actions completed in Power Week!
All in all, our experience of being part of Green Impact has been really positive. We look forward to completing Bronze and continuing the process towards Silver and Gold.
IT Services – PC Power Saving
IT Services (ITS) are committed to saving energy in the open access and lab PC suites across the University. For some time now we have been routinely hibernating PCs in student areas when not in use in order to save energy.
ITS are now investigating replacing hibernation in the open access and lab PC suites with a full shut down. It is anticipated that this will result in PCs being able to boot up quicker which in turn should improve the overall experience of student using PCs.
Another options being explored is turning off unused staff / post-graduate PCs if there is no logged on user if left powered on for any length of time. This would not impact anyone that leaves their PC logged in (and locked) over night but would ensure that staff / post-grad PC resource is not left on indefinitely using power when not required. However, ITS do advise that anyone leaving their PC / laptop at the end of the day should perform a shutdown.
At present ITS are trialling the use of maintenance windows in various PC suites to enable tasks such as software installations and updates. This will ensure that maintenance work on PCs is performed at times when the PCs are not in use to minimise any impact on the student experience and ensure the PCs are shut down afterwards leaving them in a ready state for use the next day.
There is a balance with regards to the reduction of power consumption and usability in PC suites as typically a PC will log in quicker and appear to perform better if it is left on all day. Obviously we cannot leave all of the PCs on 24 hours per day so we constantly look to find the best balance between low power consumption and usability of the PCs in student areas.
It is also worthy of note that all PCs that are purchased for the University from Viglen are Energy Star 5.0 certified systems. For more information in relation to Energy Star please visit http://www.viglen.co.uk/viglen/about/EnergyStar.aspx