Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Announcing the winners of recent survey's..

A big thanks to everyone who completed the most recent SUSTE-TECH related surveys; the Procurement Managers survey and the Green ICT survey.

The winner of the £100 on line gift certificate for participating in the Procurement Managers survey is Noel Cassidy, Procurement Manager  from Cambridge Regional College and the voucher will be used to promote sustainability at the College.

The winner of the £50 on line gift certificate for completing the Green ICT survey is Victoria Hands, Head of Sustainability at LSE.

Both winners were picked randomly and have been informed of their good luck so congratulations to both. Keep an eye out for more SUSTE-TECH related surveys to participate in, you may be the lucky winner next time.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Follow up from April 2011's Blog

 Last April I wrote a blog on the results of Green ICT Policy Survey (see April 26th, 2011's blog).   The PhD student conducting the research, Ian St John, is now conducting a follow-up of the survey.  Ian is interested to see how perceptions have changed (if they have at all) since the survey was first circulated 12 months ago.  He would like everyone who completed the survey last year to now do so again.  Ian is also interested in hearing from those who are completing it for the first time.  Submissions are, as always, anonymous and you can complete the survey by simply clicking on the following link : https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MW3WVPG
Ian is also keen to conduct some follow up sessions/interviews so if you are interested, please contact him  directly via  email.   
His contact details are below:
Ian St John
Web Services Manager
 Room 109   |   University College Plymouth St Mark & St John
(: +44 (0) 1752 636780   |   *: istjohn@marjon.ac.uk   |   8www.marjon.ac.uk

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Fujitsu's ICT Sustainability : the Global Benchmark 2011 report

I was just about to blog about the Fujitsu's ICT Sustainability : the Global Benchmark  2011 report but someone beat me to it. A link to the actual report is contained in this blog. Enjoy green ICT'ers

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Results of the Procurement Managers Green ICT Survey

I've finally gotten round to examining the results of the Procurement managers survey I circulated some time ago. The number of participants in this survey was the highest so far of any survey I’ve circulated.  53 procurement managers in total took part in the survey. This may have been primarily down to the survey being advertised on the BUFDG mailing list, thereby reaching 100’s of procurement managers. It of course may also have been because each participant was automatically entered into a draw to win a £100 on line gift certificate of their choice. Either way the results are extremely valuable to procurement policy makers and FHE managers covering ICT, estates, energy and sustainability.
A summary of the results are as follows:
Survey participants had an excellent background knowledge and experience in working, not only in their current procurement roles, but in the procurement sector in general.  Almost half (47.7%) had worked for at least 5 years in their current procurement roles with almost 30% working in their current roles for up to 15 years. 43.2% of survey participants had worked in the procurement sector for more than 15 years with the remaining,  more than 40%, having anywhere between 5-15 years in the sector.
When asked how knowledgeable of environmental /sustainable issues they were, almost 63% said they were quite knowledgeable on the issue with almost 30% stating that they were very knowledgeable on the subject. Less than 10% stated that they had minimal or no knowledge of sustainable issues, therefore embedding sustainability into an institutions procurement process should be done with relative ease.
60% stated that they were part of their institutions sustainable/environmental committee which means that almost 40% were not. Of those that were on the committee more than half (52%) stated it was a voluntary decision. This is very reassuring as it indicates staff are already dedicated to improving their institutions sustainable performance. Other reasons included being asked to join (40%), and it being part of job description (24%) again indicating sustainable concerns at a higher organisational level.
When asked specifically about procuring for ICT equipment as part of their roles in the environmental committee, 60% of participants  stated that they procure for energy efficient equipment, 40% stated they procure or tender for e waste contactors, 48% stated they examine suppliers environmental credentials and almost 30% stated they examine the supply chain of ICT equipment. 24% stated they did all of the above with only 4% stating they did none of the above. This indicates active participation by procurement depts. in environmental committees.
For those that were not part of their environmental committee, 47% stated that it’s because they were not asked to join, almost 12% stated it was because they did not have the time to join and 17.6% said it was because there was no such committee at their institution.  These “no’s” could potentially be “yes’s”. However based on the comments left as part of the “no’s” answers, as other procurement colleagues are part of the environmental committee so they are in fact represented in some way. Later when questioned about being asked to be on the committee, 75% stated they would join. The remaining 25% that said “no” indicated it was only because they felt they were already being represented or because of lack of time so no real disinterest in environmental issues exist. So all in all representation by procurement managers on environmental committees is particularly good.
Separating the work done as  members of environmental committees from their roles as procurement managers, almost 83% of survey participants stated that they procure for sustainable goods because it is part of their job description with almost 17% stating they did not.  Of the 83% that procure sustainably, they do it mainly for PC’s & monitors (no surprised there) but they also procure for servers, imaging equipment and AV equipment and to a lesser extent HPC’s and phones.
As part of their roles as procurement managers (as oppose to their roles in their environmental committees) 61% of survey participants said they procure for more energy efficient equipment, 22% procure for e-Waste contractors, almost 40% procure for ICT equipment with a smaller EF and the same amount examine suppliers green credentials. 22% examine the supply chain of ICT equipment while 33% do a combination of all the above. When asked if they were aware of the “end use energy services” directive, half stated they were while the other half said they were not.  This datum indicated that  the various aspects of green ICT are covered by procurement departments although not  be everyone.
When asked about being adequately provided with sufficient information on how to best procure for the most sustainable technology, 63% of survey participants said that they were, while 36.8% said they were not. The comments on this questions included; being restricted by time to attended workshops and conferences, their institutions currently working on this area and there being too much information to choose from, leading to indecisiveness. However 54.2% of survey participants stated that they have in fact attended green ICT training events/conferences and workshops, 50%  have attended procurement training events conferences and/ or workshops and more than 45 % subscribe to Green ICT magazines, journal subscriptions etc.  The remaining 25% do all of the above with just 4% stating they are not being provided with any information on green ICT.
However of those 5%, 92% stated that having access to greener technology is something they’d be interested in, indicating willingness to improve.  
91% of survey participants stated they are allowed to offer input into their institutions procurement process with just less than 10% stating they are not.
When asked about the use of tools, almost 64% of survey participants stated that Procurement and WLC tools are used as part of their institutions procurement process, 22% did not, and the remaining 13.9% were unaware if their institution used a tool or not.  Comments on this question included WLC tools being too complex and inaccurate to get a true EF, (a topic that is often debated) but the remains of the comments covered institutions either already using WLC tools or being in the process of implementing the use of one.
Of the tools used almost 37% stated they use the SPCE flexible framework tool, only 5.3% stated they use the Forum for the Future Sustainable Procurement Tool and its WLC and CO2 tool. 47% stated they use their own institution specific procurement tool with 26.3% stating their use another tool. Comments on this question included a list of other tools being used or no tools just using their own spread sheet.
However of those stated they were not using a tool, almost 79% stated they would be interested in using one. 7% expressed no interest and the remainder stated they were unsure. Comments given as part of this question included; the possible use of a tool providing it was accurate and easy to use. 79% of those that stated they use the HE procurement framework tool felt it covered their needs for sustainable ICT while more than 20% stated that it did not.
On the carbon emission and energy efficiency question almost 85% stated that they were aware of the related government targets with more than 15% stating that they were not. Of the 20 that answered “yes” to monitoring their emissions, 16 replied with exact figures, the remaining stating that their energy/ sustainable manager had the figures. This echos the results of some of the earlier questions that indicated procurement managers strong knowledgable of sustainable issues and their willingness to champion the cause.
When asked about suppliers restrictions, more than 31% stated that they are being restricted with almost 47% stating they were not.
Almost 22% stated that they did not know. Of those that answered “yes” it was predominantly photocopiers and printers contractors that restricted their ability to be more sustainable. The remaining answer options of PC & monitors, AV equipment, Telephones, Networks, server room equipment, HPC’s and other ICT equipment had an evenly distributed percentage of between 10% and 30%.
When asked how they measure value for money when procuring for sustainable ICT, 31 survey participants replied.  They stated that measuring the overall value for money of each piece of kit included; examining the initial purchase cost, on-going running costs, disposal costs etc. The items that lives up to the standards and specifications and is the least expensive, is the item of better value.
When asked what kind of changes to the traditional procurement progress they’d like to see made, 30 participants gave a variety of answers but most had overlapping points. Those points included; procurement managers being able to see sustainability embedded more in WLC tools, less complicated tools being used, an ease on the EU procurement restrictions with more flexibility to purchase from local suppliers, thus improving carbon footprint. In short survey participants were in favour of anything that would make the procurement process less laborious and complicated and would also promote and support sustainability.
Overall the survey indicated a very good background knowledge of sustainable issues from procurement managers and a strong presence on environmental committees. When procuring for ICT equipment the most important factors such as; energy use and the life length of a product are examined. This is not surprising as obtaining value for money goes hand in hand with sustainability. However, some of the responses indicated scope for improvement and frustration at the often complex procurement processes. The results and especially the closing comments from this survey will hopefully prove useful when rethinking the procurement process.  
For a closer look at the results of the survey, please contact me directly on

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Green ICT Workshop at the University of Sydney

I’d advertised that I was hosting a green ICT workshop at the university of Sydney on Oct 4th. I  hadn’t realised that I was hosting an event in the middle of the Australian midterm break. Turnout was low but the calibre of the attendees was top notch.  Joel Turner, the University if Sydney’s environmental managers attended as did Tom Worthington and Helen Hassan. Helen is an academic on the subject, is on several related committees so her arriving at the event early gave us the opportunity to discuss the difficulties in greening an already established ICT System. One of the advantages of presenting to a low number of people was that its allowed delegates to ask questions over the course of the presentation which I felt added value by turning it into a better paced presentation.  While I considered cancelling the workshop due to low numbers, I’m glad that I decided to go ahead with it. After the workshop I had coffee with Tom Worthington and we discussed ICT systems and careers in IT etc. A thoroughly enjoyable (and productive) day !!
The following day I had a meeting with two consultants from Macanta Consulting; Breed Lewis and Karen Ferris. We discussed the services that Macanta consultancy had to offer not only SUSTE-TECH participants but indeed any UK U&C that might need to assistance in servicing and managing their ICT systems. I will be keeping in touch with both Breed and Karen we will work on how to best spread the holistic approach to green ICT. Karen is the author of the paper “from emerald green to murky brown”. This is a must read for all ICT (especially data centre managers). For more information  http://macanta.com.au/2011/04/from-emerald-green-to-murky-brown-is-this-your-data-centre-journey/
A Summary of the 2011 ACTS Conference.
After a warm welcome from the ACTS president Leanne Denby, Ellen Sandell the National director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition gave a wonderful presentation on how she became interested in sustainability. It was wonderful to see so much already achieved by someone so young.
The first presentation I attended entitled “adopting a whole institution approach to EfS” was given by Charlie Hargrove. Charlie is the co-author of “Cents and Sensibility”, “Factor 5” and “Whole System Design” amongst others.  Charlie ran through all the important aspects of integrating sustainability into your organisation. It was one of those presentations you end up leaving feeling inspired with a renewed commitment to greening your institution.Up next, John Rolls presentation “Do not change your behaviour – there is a fault in reality” was bit different to say the least. John basically explained the psychological rational behind getting people to change their behaviour. To summarise, John’s presentation said that environmental campaigns are more successful if you target an emotional response from those whose behaviour you want to change, but it needs to be done carefully.
On the second day of the conference I attended a session on the use of Social Media to promote sustainability, By Mal Chia.Not only was it an excellent lesson in the history of communications and in social media but Mal showed how easy it is now to be connected to 1,000’s of other people through the click of a mouse. He also explained how to best engage with people. Echoing what John Rolls had said in a previous presentation, Mal also said that its important to tell a story that resonates with your audience. Firstly find out who you audience are and what do they want/need. Your story must be relatable, inspirational, and emotional. Mal also said not to broadcast to an audience but instead to start a conversation. All really good advice so took notes that I’m sure I’ll return to often.
Later I attended the “Time and Sustainability metrics for tertiary institutions” presentation given by Stephen Derrick. One of the points I took away from Stephens presentation was that sustainability is urgent so it’s important to factor in the time left until we go past the point of no return.Later that day I hosted a “one to one with the experts” session. This gave delegates the opportunity to sit with an expert of their choice (in my case green ICT) and ask what it all about , how to implement it etc. I had in total 7 delegates pick my brains for explanations on green ICT and how it relates to their role at their institutions. I was little surprised at how some delegates knew so little on the subject (no offence intended) but the UK are streets ahead of Australian institutions in greening their ICT systems. This is an opportunity for UK institutions to blaze the trail in greening of ICT networks and demonstrate best practice for those still grappling with the subject.
Later that night the green gown awards took place. Between the dinner and dancing, U&C’s across Australasia and New Zealand were awarded for their achievements in sustainable related topics. For the categories and winner click on the following link; http://www.acts.asn.au/index.php/programs-and-initiatives/green-gown-awards-australasia/
For a closer look at the conference’s programme click on the following link;
The final day of the ACTS conference kicked off with presentation from Jimmy Brannigan on the EAUC’s LiFE project. This is a sustainability performance tool that it is hoped will be utilised by all U&C’s not only in the UK but in Australia and NZ too. A continuation from the Universities that Count project, LiFE examines an institutions CSR and well as their environmental performance. For more information simply click on the following link: http://www.thelifeindex.org.uk/

Green ICT workshop at the 2011 ACTS Conference in Adelaide, Australia.

It been almost two weeks since I attended the 2011 ACTS conference in Adelaide and I’m only now getting around to blogging about it. At the conference I hosted a green ICT workshop along with Sam Fernandez and Bart Meehan both of ANU. A quick show of hands at the start of the workshop showed that it was being attended by 27 delegates most of which were environmental or sustainable managers (of one type or another). Unfortunately no IT managers were in attendance. However, a few sustainable and environmental managers confirmed that their institutions had a green ICT strategy of sorts in place and were there to learn more on the subject. I presented on the aims of the SUSTE-TECH project and ran through its methodology, results of the 15 participants Suste-IT tools and green ICT action plans. At the end of the session I encouraged delegates to take what I considered to be the 3 most useful points away with them, use the Suste-IT tool, remembering the “4 M’s”, (math, meet, merge, make)  and to go on line and learn more about the 34 other JISC projects that are researching the subject of Green ICT.
Sam Fernandez and Bart Meehan presented on what they had done at ANU to green their IT system. They covered the issue of ICT formerly being regarded as the “sacred cow” of campus operations in that it daren’t be touched by anyone outside of the IT department. Thankfully this has changed since the realisation that ICT is a significant energy consumer. Sam focussed on what he described as the “big ticket item”, Data Centre management. In fact ANU are setting up a separate group specifically to manage their data centres. Bart and Sam covered how they are building the case for change by communicating results with stakeholders and are taking the collaborative approach to tackling the energy use of their data centres by getting involved with other organisations. Their mantra for this collaborative was “I have a problem and I need your help”. This mirrors what 2 other presenters (John Rolls and Mal Chia, see next blog) said was crucial to getting stakeholders involved in sustainable projects.
While neither of the presentations showcased groundbreaking findings in Green ICT (next year perhaps) it was reassuring to see institutions on another continent experiencing and tackling hurdles in energy management the same way as those in the UK. One of the more interesting outcomes of the project was that so many delegates were still unaware of what exactly green ICT is.  So I recommended reading any of the hundreds of Green ICT books that are available, in fact  I’ve mentioned a few in older blogs and tweets. At the ACTS 2012 Conference I hope to present on how far the SUSTE-TECH participants have come since deciding to participate in 2010. I also hope to be able to showcase their financial and carbon savings and focus on which of the sustainable technologies helped get them to a greener level.    

Monday, 19 September 2011

Upcoming Australian Green ICT Workshops.

Just a quick plug; I will be hosting a Green ICT workshop on September 28th in Adelaide, Australia as part of the 2011 Acts conference.
I will be  presenting on the progress of the JISC funded SUSTE-TECH project since its commencement in Jan 2010.  I will include a summary of the results of the 15 SUSTE-TECH participant’s action plans and which of the Green ICT technologies have proved most popular. I will also focus on the “4 M’s” and how effective communication and behavioural change are essential to a project’s long-term success. I will also be showcasing the other 34 JISC greening of ICT projects and, as always, will be promoting the use of the Suste-IT tool to monitor ICT related energy use.
Other Green ICT workshop hosts include Sam Fernandez from ANU and Ruth Oliver from Monsash University. Details of the event are included in the following link;  http://www.acts.asn.au/index.php/annual-conference/program/
I will replicate this workshop a week later on Oct 4th at the University of Sydney. Minor details of the event have yet to be confirmed but if you are an ICT, Sustainable / Environmental, Energy or Estates manager concerned about your institutions ICT energy use, these are the workshops for you.
E mail me for more details on either of the events.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Donating ICT Kit to Africa V’s Recycling in UK.

Donating ICT Kit to Africa V’s Recycling in UK.
I recently spoke with Computer Aid international on the subject of sending computers overseas to Africa. They  expressed  their frustration at the amount of PC's still remaining in the UK and not being donated to reputable charities such as Computer Aid international. We discussed the issue of FHE institutions choosing to have redundant PCs recycled in the UK as opposed to being sent to Africa for reuse. 
It has been reported in the past that personal data has been stolen from the hard drives of donated PCs and used illegally in the purchase of goods or to obtain money. This type of fraudulent activity can destroy a person’s credit history and ultimately leave them financially worse off than prior to donating their PC. PCs and other ICT equipment are often disassembled under poor environmental health and safety conditions for the sole purpose of abstracting their valuable metals and materials.  There is also the concern that donating overseas also adds to the air-miles and lifetime CO2 emissions of PCs.
However, this is not typically the case and only represents a small percentage of what really happens to ICT equipment when donated to a reputable charity. A more accurate account of donating ICT equipment for reuse in developing countriesis that the equipment ends up in schools, small businesses and medical centres. The positive impact the use of a PC has on the education and ultimately the life of a young African child, far outweighs the negative environmental impact created through the shipping of ICT equipment overseas or the possibility of personal data being stolen and reused illegally. Besides, Computer Aid will ensure that your data is deleted from the PCs hard drive.
So just a reminder to anyone who may be facing the dilemma of deciding whether to send PCs to be recycled in the UK or to donate them to a charity.
·        Empirical research proves beyond doubt that reuse of computers is far better for the environment than recycling: Reusing a computer is 20 times more effective at saving life cycle energy use than recycling. Given the substantial environmental cost of production it’s important  that the full productive value of every PC is recovered through reuse before eventually recycling it to recover parts and materials at its true end-of-life. A refurbished computer can provide at least another 3 years productive life.

·        Reusing PCs can help to support development projects, such as schools and hospitals in emerging economies: School children are the main recipients of Computer Aid PCs and the charity have so far provided an ICT education to more than a million children in the developing world. For these students, the opportunities provided through education and IT literacy offers a way out of poverty. It is only with computer skills that young people can compete for professional or administrative jobs. Even in the field of health care, Computer Aid has been providing laptops and digital cameras to doctors and nurses across Africa to save lives and stem the spread of disease through remote diagnosis for those in rural areas who are unable to reach specialists in central hospitals. Rural health workers are using the laptops to email x-ray images, medical notes and digital photographs of critically ill patients for expert clinical diagnostic support from experienced professional clinicians hundreds of miles away, bringing advanced healthcare to people living in the most remote areas. As a result, medical conditions can be treated promptly and accurately with life-saving consequences.

·        Aiding the disabled: Computer Aid has been working for a number of years to ensure that the disabled are able to access learning and employment opportunities. In Ethiopia, Computer Aid has provided computers to disabled people to help them to establish businesses and provide vocational training to the disabled. Most African schools have no services available for blind students, and 90% of African children who are blind don’t go to school at all. In a project supported by Sightsavers International, Computer Aid has been working with the Kenya Union of the Blind to provide PCs with assistive technology: software that produces synthesized speech output of the screen contents for blind users and screen magnification and enhancements for visually impaired users. The project is offering a new level of independence to users, allowing greater mobility and freedom and the chance to take up new opportunities.
While it’s understood that disadvantaged children in the UK are also in need of donations, they are far more likely during their childhood, teenage years and adulthood to be repeatedly introduced to computers, than a child in Africa. African children educated in the use of PCs from an early age are far more likely to become self reliant later years as their PC skills enable them to find employment.
To continue with its work, Computer Aid relies on the donations of computers and laptops from UK organisations. So please donate your unwanted computers to projects such as these. Call the charity on 020 8361 5540 or email enquiries@computeraid.org or visit www.computeraid.org/donate.
Your generosity will help to change a child's life!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The 2011 COUP Conference

I’m must back from the 2011 COUP Conference which was held at St Andrew’s University in Scotland. While procurement is only part of my role as the SUSTE-TECH project manager, I found the sessions quite informative. The information given at the sessions are likely to prove useful as this project continues. I gave a short presentation on the results of the SUSTE-TECH participants Green ICT Action plans and why it was JISC funded this project (and indeed the other 33 Greening of ICT projects). I also included a short demonstration on the use of the Suste­-IT tool and encouraged the procurement managers to forward onto their institution’s energy, sustainable and ICT managers a copy of the tool and information on the SUSTE-TECH project.
The main points I included was that procurement managers should be looking to
1. purchase fewer pieces of ICT equipment (per institution)
2. purchase pieces of equipment that last longer and
3. that consumes less energy when in use.
Procurement managers also need to check with suppliers to see if they have the necessary environmental information on their products such as the air miles, ecological footprint, embodied energy, types of materials being used during manufacture and the status of those materials. i.e. are they renewable or is there a finite supply that is being depleted.  A show of hands at the session indicated that quite a few procurement managers are actively involved in their institutions environmental committee but many are not. (This, coincidentally, was similar to the results of the ICT managers survey that was circulated last year). The most important message I’d hoped  to leave with procurement managers was the importance of teaming up with energy, environmental and ICT managers  to complete (and update accordingly) the Suste-IT tool and use the results to demonstrate potential savings by simply switching to more sustainable ICT equipment. In fact, I showcased how the 12th tab of the Suste-IT tool gives a one page analysis of all the necessary information to convince a financial manager of the need for using more sustainable ICT equipment. Hopefully procurement managers will have been inspired to work more closely with their environmental committees and continue to play their part in carbon reduction and in cost savings for their institution.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Utilisation of Space Across Campus through the Use of ICT Workshop.

Last week’s Utilisation of Space Across Campus was one of the most interesting and popular SUSTE-TECH workshops. The event was attended by over 50 delegates from various estates, ICT and e-learning departments whose roles within the FHE sector requires knowledge of all that is pedagogic, technical and sustainable. Overall feedback from the workshop was very positive, scoring 8.6 on the overall delegate evaluation grading scale with delegates requesting additional information on each of the topics covered and notification of similar future workshops.
The usual mix of ICT, energy and sustainable managers were in attendance, but this workshop attracted the attention of architects, space planners, heads of e learning departments and engineers. This mix of professionals is indicative of the ever expanding skills-set that’s required to ensure the efficient operation of an FHE estate in 2011 and into the future.
After delegates were briefed on the SUSTE-TECH project and JISC’s other estates led projects, Toni Kelly and Matt Sherlock from the University of Birmingham’s Learning Space Division, presented on how by integrating timetabling and space management across campus they anticipate a reduction in the number of over-bookings thus saving time and money for their institution.
For more information on the University of Birmingham check out the presentations on: http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/2matt-sherlock-2
Graeme Horner from FG Technology presented on the benefits of using their remote control device for PC’s.  These devices can be placed in (or under) a desk or work surface where they duplicate the key controls of the PC. This allows the main computer to be stored elsewhere (up to 20m away). Because PC’s are concealed, they reduce clutter, improve the asthetic appearance and free up classroom space. It also means that computers are is less likely to be stolen or vandalised. FG’s remote control devices are silent so noise is reduced and as PC’s are stored elsewhere, they not add to classroom heat. This keeps the running costs of classrooms and lab spaces to a minimum.
For more information check out Graeme’s slides on : http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/4graeme-horne-fg-technology-eauc-powerpoint
John Pryzbilla from Mosaic Space presented part one of Optimising the Sustainable Performance of Classroom Space. John’s presentation included a formulae for calculating the utilisation of classroom space; Room Frequency x Seat Occupancy = Utilisation. This formula should prove useful for timetabling staff and space planners when trying to maximise the use of lecture halls, labs and classrooms at the beginning of each academic semester. While many delegates may already be aware that “the greenest building is the one that has not yet been built”, John also informed delegates that “every pound (£) wasted on empty space means that less money is available for research, teaching and learning. Poorly used space makes everyone work harder to pay for it”.
John slides are available on; (coming soon)
 Finally, Cathy Stewart and Mel Starrs, both from PRP Architects, presented on part two of Optimising the Sustainable Performance of Classroom Space. Cathy covered the importance of providing learning spaces that have adequate fresh air and oxygen, have comfortable surroundings and provide sufficient visual stimulation with minimal distraction. It is hoped that by providing these pedagogic conditions, students will be able to learn more efficiently and retain as much information as possible. In the traditional learning method of lecturing, where students sit quietly and try to absorb and retain (and hopefully understand) what being covered, only 5% of what’s being taught is retained by students. However when “learning by doing”, in the case of practical experiments and work experience, 75% of what’s being taught is retained. The difficulty however is balancing pedagogy with limited space while still factoring in the three learning environments; “teacher centred” (classroom), “student centred” (open labs and studying space) and the “third space” (informal common areas such as the outdoors, cafeteria, etc). PRP Architects also covered the importance of building staff and student’s confidence in the use of technology as well as the need for on-going training to keep pace with advancements in  the latest technology. They also covered the topic of understanding all that technology had to offer to enhance the pedagogic experience, save time and lessen the impact on the environment.  Their presentation is available on http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/6-cathy-stewart-prp
Unfortunately, Paul Ritchie from Leeds Metropolitan was unable to present so delegates missed out on hearing about how their JISC funded Light and Heat by Timetabling project was progressing. The SUSTE-TECH project may run another workshop on the topic of timetabling and space planning at some point (most likely in 2012). Delegates attend event may have the opportunity to hear Paul Ritchie and Sue Holms present then. http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/3paul-ritchie-heat-light-by-timetable-effective-measures
Slides from each of the presentations are also available on the EAUC’s SUSTE-TECH workshop webpage ; http://www.eauc.org.uk/workshops

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Space Planning Recommened Reading

Just some recommened reading for anyone interested in the subject of Campus Space Planning and related topics.
 First Questions for Designing Higher Education Learning Spaces by  
Scott Bennett

Discovering the campus together: A mobile and computer-based learning experience
by Mar Pérez-Sanagustín et al

Architecture design studio culture and learning spaces: a holistic approach to the design and planning of learning facilities by N.A.G. Abdullah et al. 
Each are available on Science Direct.

Utilisation of Space in FHE Institutions.

There are 46 delegates registered to attend next Wednesdays Utilisation of Space Across Campus through the Use of ICT workshop. This is the largest number of delegates that have registered to attend any of the SUSTE-TECH workshops. Numbers are especially high considering the event is being held during the last week of August when typically ICT and Estate managers are on annual leave. Without a doubt this is because of the topic being covered.
Space planning has in recent years become an increasingly important aspect of FHE estate management. This is mainly due to increases in real estate prices as well as the on-going cost of running large estates. University and colleges have been burdened with the task of having to source supplementary funding themselves since the 2010 cuts to the sector. In fact since the cuts, estates managers have been attempting to make maximum use of their assets by renting out classrooms to businesses for events such as conferences, workshops, tradeshows, parties and weddings etc.  In order to do this however, campuses must not only be fit for purpose but also “look the part”. Since the recent hike in tuition fees, students are also expecting an improved overall pedagogic experience with emphasis on their learning environment.
In more modern or newly refurbished institutions, old fashioned cork notice boards and brightly coloured walls have been phased out. Instead classrooms and lecture theatres have become digitised and streamlined. PC’s are reduced to simply a keyboard and monitor, both smaller and lighter than before, and wires, cables and leads have almost vanished thanks to wireless connections. Space planning is no longer simply about the allocation of seats per classroom and adequate light and heat. There are legal requirements also to consider along with the cognitive, psychological, administrative and ICT requirements as well as staff and student welfare.
It is hoped that delegates will leave Wednesday’s workshops with a greater understanding of how to make the most of their institutions available space and how to incorporate the latest in ICT to help improve student’s learning experience and of course how to do it all as sustainably as possible.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Procurement Staff Survey

 I recently circulated an e mail to all FHE procurement staff inviting them to participate in a survey that I’d created on behalf of the Sustainable Procurement's Centre for Excellence (SPCE's) Green ICT advisory committee. The aim of this survey was to obtain direct feedback from FHE procurement staff regarding the purchasing of sustainable ICT equipment. Results from a previous ICT manager survey, carried out in November 2010 (and again in April 2011) indicated that there was a gap between what ICT managers knew about sustainability and what was being asked of them in their roles at FHE institutions (see blog from April 2011).

It is hoped that this survey will do the same for procurement managers and will also highlight procurement staff's interest in environmental issues while at the same time provide participants the opportunity to inform the committee of Green ICT procurement issues that otherwise may be overlooked. Of course I always like to offer a “carrot” at the end of every “stick” so automatically entered each participant of the survey into a draw to win a £100 gift certificate from an online retailer of their choice. With 25 procurement managers already having completed the survey, I think the “carrot” did the trick.
The survey remains open to all procurement managers until Friday 2nd of September, after which point the results will be collected and analysed and presented at the 2011 COUPE conference.

If you are a procurement manager and work in a FHE institution simply click on the following link to complete the survey;  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8FRDSXV

It is hoped that the results of this survey will  provide useful information and data that will lead to an overall improvement in the efficiency of  FHE's green ICT procurement processes.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The 2011 Green Gown Award Applicants

The EAUC’s 2011 Annual GGA have gotten of to a good start. Since its launch date, 239 institutions have submitted applications in 13 different categories, one of which is Green ICT. Of the 13 different award categories the Positive Behaviour (aka Behavioural Change) and Carbon Reduction categories had the greatest number of applicants. This is hardly surprising as pressure for institutions to reach carbon targets of 34% by 2020 (in comparison to 1990 levels) is ongoing and research has shown that behavioural change is one of the main factors underpinning the success or failure of sustainable projects. The remit of the SUSTE-TECH project examines both topics and their application to sustainable ICT. Behavioural change overlaps with quite few of JISC’s greening of ICT projects (either directly or indirectly) so if you’re interested  to know what those project are, check them out by clicking on following link http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/greeningict.aspx

The SYMPACT project.

I met earlier this week with members of the SYMPACT team at the Folk House in Bristol for lunch.  The SYMPACT project is being led by Dr. Chris Preist and Dr. Mike Yearworth and is being assisted by Paul Shabajee and Daniel Schien, both from the University of Bristol. The SYMPACT project is examining the environmental impact of both print and online media.  As the use of digital media is constantly increasing and shows no signs of reversing or even slowing down, it’s imperative at this relatively  early stage to identify the most environmentally sustainable type of media, (be it paper based  or digital) and push for its wider use.
The University of Bristol has partnered with Guardian News and Media and the University of Surrey’s Centre for Environmental Strategy to build different scenarios models that indicate how the news industry might look in the future, after a greater move towards the use of digital technology. The subject of  behavioural change is also being examined.  In this instance it involves examining the change from the use of paper materials as a source of media to their online equivalent or the uptake of electronic reader devices in place of books.
The questions the SYMPACT projects hopes to answer include; what is the environmental impact of both print and online media? How will changes in technology alter this impact over time? How is digital technology changing customer behaviour now, and how might this happen in the future? What new business models do technological advances open up, and how will they affect the environmental impact? How will environmental factors, such as carbon pricing, act as business and behavioural drivers within this system? Beyond energy and climate, what other sustainability implications might this transformation have?
At the meeting we also discussed the overlap between the SYMPACT project and that of the SUSTE-TECH project, (and indeed the aims of  JISC’s 34 other JISC Greening of ICT projects too). After our meeting, I forwarded onto the SYMPACT team, information and data on how to calculate (and how I derived) the EF of paper in the hope it would prove useful for answering their research questions. As both project’s are looking to reduce ICT’s impact on the environment I’m confident the SYMPACT and SUSTE-TECH project will continue to share ideas and knowledge on greener ICT.
For more information on the SYMPACT prpject, click on the following link 

Greening Your Institution's Network Systems Workshop

Despite just 3 expert presenters at last Wednesday’s Greening your Institutions Network System workshop in Bristol, delegates graded the workshop 8.45/10.Consisting mainly of FHE Network and ICT managers concerned about the energy use of their institutions switches, routers and cables, the workshop also consisted of researchers and representatives from the private and public sectors.
 The first presenter, Prof. Jaafar Elmirghani from the University of Leeds, presented on the Intelligent Energy Aware project. One of the findings Prof. Elimirghani shared with delegates was; the more efficient you make a network system the more people are incline to use it. This of course leads to an increase in network traffic and a corresponding increase in energy use. The Intelligent Energy Aware project is working on a solution to this problem. Researchers aim to find a way of maximise the energy efficiency of network systems so that it can handle the ever increasing number of internet users, while at the same time reduce its energy requirements.
Simon Palmer, the Systems Development Officer at Coleg Sir Gar in Wales covered what his FE college has done to reduce network related energy costs. His presentation entitled “Trying to save power and putting Gigabit to the Edge” focussed on the college’s use of switches and routers and through their replacement with more efficient equipment, the college reduced its network carbon footprint by 80%.   Simon’s closing remarks on greening network equipment was for network managers “not to replace old kit until absolutely necessary”.
Finally, from the business perspective Russell Davies from Cisco Systems showcased what the network giant is doing to help customers run more energy efficient systems. Russell’s presentation included an overshot on the difficulties public sectors organisations are faced with in terms of reducing their ICT related energy use but then offered a summary of the 10 recommendations from CISCO’s Operational Efficiency Report to help tackle those difficulties.  The presentation which is available on the EAUC’s website offers an array of sustainable network solutions and is work checking out. Russell then showcased CISCO’s new LAN products and demonstrated UCS (Unified Compute Solution) direct and indirect energy use. Network managers may find the following URL’s useful www.cisco.com/go/energywise and www.cisco.com/go/UCS.
After the presentations were complete, the Q&A session commenced. Delegates seized the opportunity to question each of the 3 presenters on the topics they’d just covered.  One of the topics covered was the difficulty of accurately establishing the Ecological footprint of ICT and Network equipment. Prof. Elmirghani agreed that as manufactures don’t have all the necessary information on their products supply chain, an accurate EF cannot be established which makes designing the most sustainable network system more difficult. Perhaps this is an area within the wider green ICT spectrum that deserves more research. If any readers are aware of a research project that is examining the EF of ICT equipment please rely or comment to this blog.
The Coleg Sir Gar and Cisco System’s presentations are available on the EAUC’s Greening ICT with JISC webpage http://www.eauc.org.uk/workshops

Friday, 15 July 2011

Green ICT from the ANU in Canberra, Australia.

I skyped Sam Fernandes, of the Green ICT dept at the Australian National University (ANU) two nights ago to catch up on what his institution had been doing to green their ICT systems. I had sent Sam the Suste-IT tool 12 months ago after he'd heard about it and The SUSTE-TECH project, from a colleague who'd attended the 2010 ACTS conference in Melbourne. Sam started using the Suste-IT tool but like many energy monitoring schemes, gathering the required data on numbers, energy consumption and operation times of ICT equipment proved too time consuming. Sam and his colleagues at the ANU have since created a programme that can detect and locate the various pieces of ICT equipment and then record their energy use. While the programme is still in its design stage it has already proved more than useful when trying to gather and monitor ICT related energy use and calculate the carbon footprint of the hundreds of ICT devices on campus. So far they have managed to estimate the energy consumption of over 22,000 ICT devices in operation across ANU's Canberra campus. The tool has identified the use of 7,600 desktops, 11,000 servers and 746 printers. The tool is being developed further with the help of Macanta, a business and management consultancy firm in Melbourne. ANU are working on improving the accuracy of the results and once fully developed, the tool may be able to generate reports that provide information about the carbon profile of ICT. The team is also working on developing the tool to provide information on the location of ICT devices across campus. I sent Sam the link to JISC's Greening of ICT projects in the hope that he and his team of researchers become inspired by the results of the JISC projects or better still decide to collaborate with JISC in the future. For more information on what ANU are doing to green their campuses' and what ground breaking research is being carried out, click on the following link; http://greenict.anu.edu.au/ , or contact NHogan@eauc.org.uk

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Procurement Managers Only Survey

 I’m in the process of creating a survey  to be completed by procurement mangers only. The results of a similar ICT manager only survey carried out a few months ago indicated that ICT managers and procurement staff are often at odds regarding which pieces of equipment to purchase for their institution. ICT managers main concern is the ability of their equipment to deliver a reliable service to staff and students, while procurement staff’s main concern is the financial cost.   The survey indicated that ICT energy use is something they consider when requesting the purchase of such equipment but whether procurement managers also consider energy use, is for the most part, still unknown.
The survey also established the level of joined up thinking between the ICT depts.  and procurement depts. (as well as that between energy and environmental depts. too). While some ICT managers sit on a sustainable committee more do not. Of those that do, for many it’s part of their job requirement, for others it voluntary. The question then remains how do institution procure for ICT equipment effectively and efficiently if the various depts.  Have different agendas?   
This time we want to hear from procurement managers and their thoughts on the process for procuring for more sustainable ICT equipment.
What sustainable ICT considerations do they think are important and should be included as part of all procurement tools and what considerations can be omitted? How much knowledge do they posses on the subject of sustainability and do they know how to apply it to their roles as procurement managers. Does their institution offer training on the subject? Are they aware of the tools available to help them procure sustainably? Its is hoped that this survey will shed some light on the tricky process of procuring for ICT equipment.
If you have any questions or suggestion for questions to be included in this survey, please e mail the SUSTE-TECH project manager Nicola Hogan at NHogan@EAUC.org.uk

Greening Your Institution's Networks Systems

The agenda for the July 20th Networks Greening Your Institution's Networks System event was circulated to 100’s of contacts earlier today. The event has only 4 speakers in total (including the SUSTE-TECH project manager) despite almost 50 Network contacts being asked to present. I started to wonder if this may be because not enough research has been done on the subject so far? Have research institutions and ICT manager focussed too much the energy use of other categories of ICT equipment? Did moving into the cloud distract institutions from examining the impact the use of switches, routers and cables have on their energy use ? Perhaps it’s because their energy use  may be more difficult to monitor than other pieces of ICT kit and their environmental footprint almost impossible to quantify (much like all pieces of ICT equipment)? The response from many of the Network manager asked to present was just that; they simply hadn’t enough information and/or data on the subject to be able to present on.  In addition to this, results of completed Suste-IT tools (from the SUSTE-TECH) project showed that Networks were amongst the higher users of ICT related energy use, yet only 2 institutions included addressing the issue in their Action Plans. Perhaps this is something that ICT research institutions, HE’s and their funding bodies should consider examining at some point?

Metering and Managing Energy Consumption in Data Centres

I attended the  Metering and Managing Energy Consumption in Data Centres workshop in Leeds last Tuesday. The event, attended by at least 20 delegates and had 4 speakers, offered real insight into how to manage and monitor your data centres energy use. Rob Bristow has already blogged extensively on the event (see Rob’s Blog) so there’s not much point in me repeating the details of the event, except to reiterate the main outputs from the workshop.
They were;
1.  there are many and varied methods of collecting and then monitoring the energy use of data centres. Energy meters that work for one server may not integrate with another. Continuing to try several different methods, types of equipment and points of monitoring until energy usage is being measures, is key!
2. Once data has been gathered, the most important aspect is following through on initiatives that will reduce energy consumption.
This is easier than many IT managers realise. The SUSTE-TECH project ran 2 Data Centre Efficiency workshops, the slides of which are available on the EAUC’s SUSTE-TECH website: The slides contain very useful information on the number of ways to green your data centres and even offer examples of best practice.

Slides from the Metering and Managing Energy Consumption in Data Centres workhop are available on

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The EAUC's Green Gown Awards

The EAUC's Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional initiatives by universities and colleges across the UK to become more sustainable. The Awards are widely recognised as the most prestigious recognition of environmental best practice within the further and higher education sectors.Categories this year include; carbon reduction; energy efficient construction; and of course Green ICT.
So if your institution has improved its ICT systems by either reducing its energy related requirements, utilised more environmentally friendly equipment or implemented an initiative that created less ICT related waste then the Green ICT category is for you. 

For more information click on the following link. http://www.greengownawards.org.uk/welcome/
Good Luck to all Green ICT entrants !!

SUSTE-TECH workshops during the summer of 2011

Upcoming Workshops

An event examining the energy use of networks is being planned for July 20th, 2011 at the University of Bristol's Graduate School of Education. Speakers at the event will include ICT managers from a range of FHE institutions and researchers from various JISC funded projects. A link to register to attend this event will be created shortly so please return to this webpage for furthur details. Details of the event are below on the "save the date flyer"

Utilisation of Space Through the Use of ICT.An event that examines how the use of innovative communication technologies are influencing the design of physical learning spaces in FHE institutions will be held at the University of Birmingham on August 24th. Hear from those who have carried out such research and learn how ICT can help declutter and streamline classrooms and lecture theatres, thus enhancing the pedagogic experience. Speakers from one of JISC's various e-learning and pedagogy project's will present on their findings, as will the head of the University of Leeds' "INTelligent Energy awaRE NETworks" project. Represenatives from the ICT business sector will also present

Improving Sustainability Across Estates

On June 30th, the JISC funded SUSTE-TECH project ran a workshop that examined how, through the clever use of ICT, estates managers can run their campus more sustainably. Over 40 delegates registered to attend the event and speakers from both the FHE and business sectors presented on what they had done to reduce energy consumption and wastage of resources by employing technology.

A presentation from the host institution’s Head of Building Operations, Kevin Cope highlighted how Imperial College have reduced their plants and services carbon consumption and how ICT infrastructure underpinned it’s delivery. Steve Scott, director of Campus Services at Queen Margaret University presented on how their sustainability strategy for the new Musselburgh campus contained a vision statement that aimed at developing a “sustainable community for learning and life”. Their holistic sustainability strategy emphasised getting the basics right first so they designed sustainability in from the start that incorporated their ICT systems. 

From the business sector, Dave Everett from RM-Utileyes presented on how real-time utility monitoring at a primary school resulted in savings of  thousands of pounds even though the school was unaware of any obvious performance issues.

Finally, Prof. Peter James Director of The Suste-IT Project showcased what a selection of UK HE institutions had done to reduce energy costs and reach carbon targets.  Feedback from the delegates was very positive with the workshop scoring an 8.25/10 for overall success.
As FHE estates struggle to find efficient ways of saving money, this workshop demonstrated how this sector wide issue can be tackled.  All presentations are available on the EAUC’s Greening of ICT with JISC workshop webpage : http://www.eauc.org.uk/workshops.
P.S. Watch out for upcoming workshops on Greening Your Institutions Network Systems and Utilisation of Space Through the Use of ICT.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Examples of Sustainable Networks

Quick question. Does anyone have information in the form of case studies and/or examples of best practice where institutions greened their ICT Networks? I'm in the process of organising a workshop that will examine "the true environmental cost of network systems at institutions", and am in need of  examples that involve changes to the use of switches, routers, cables, IP telephones, etc.

Contact me at NHogan@eauc.org.uk or on 01242 714321.



Monday, 30 May 2011

2011 Green Gown Awards

Green Gown Awards 2011, Awarding Sustainability Excellence in Universities and Colleges.

Entries for the 2011 Green Gown Awards are now open. The deadline for universities and colleges to submit their Stage 1 applications is Friday 15 July.

Now in their seventh year and administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), the Awards recognise the exceptional initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK to become more sustainable. The awards ceremony will this year take place on Thursday, 3rd of November in London's Covent Garden. Since their inception in 2004, the Green Gown Awards have grown year-on-year and we expect 2011 to be no different.  The categories for the 2011 awards are:  
  • Carbon Reduction
  • Colleges & Smaller Institutions
  • Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change
  • Courses
  • Green ICT
  • Promoting Positive Behaviour
  • Research and Development
  • Skills
  • Social Responsibility
  • Space Efficiency
  • Student Initiatives and Campaigns
  • Sustainable Construction and Refurbishment
  • Sustainable Procurement
It promises to be a fantastic evening so don't miss out ! For more information on the Green Gown Awards please on the following link; http://www.eauc.org.uk/green_gown_awards
 For sponsorship enquiries email darren.hale@redactive.co.uk or call 020 7880 6206

SUSTE-TECH Workshops

The first SUSTE-TECH Procurement workshops took place on May 24th at the University of Birmingham. The aim of the event was to bring managers of ICT, procurement, energy, and environmental departments together to discuss their roles and bridge any gaps that may exist between them and those that purchase ICT equipment for their departments.  The event will include speakers from the EDS Consulting, JISC, The EAUC, DEFRA and of course from the JISC Greening of ICT programme, PROCO2 . (See flyer below for more details). The event was a success and attendance was at full capacity. Delegates left the event with a greater knowledge of sustainable ICT and a clearer understanding of the procurement process. Evaluation forms indicated the event was very well received (scored 8.25/10 for overall success) and data and information included in the presentations proved very useful. Slides from the event are listed below. Other successful workshops run as part of the SUSTE-TECH project included two on Maximising Data Centre Efficiency and two on Paper Use Reduction.

Upcoming Workshops.

An Estates Workshop has been planned for June 30th 2011.
This workshop will examine how institutions are, not only using more sustainable ICT equipment in their research labs, lecture theatres, conference centres etc., but also how using "smart" ICT can help them reduce their energy consumption. The event will be held at the Imperial College in London and speakers will include the Director of Estates at QMU in Edinburg, RM Education and the PM of the JISC funded Computer Room Efficiency Improvement project. A link to register to attend this event will be created shortly so please return to this blogpage or to the EAUC’s Greening of ICT with JISC webpage for further details  (http://www.eauc.org.uk/greening_ict_with_jisc)

As network systems run 24/7 getting them to operate more efficiently is less straightforward than other categories of ICT. An event that examines this problem is being planned for July, 2011. The event's location has yet to be decided but speakers will include ICT managers from a range of FHE institutions and researchers from various JISC funded projects. A link to register to attend this event will be created shortly so please return to this blogpage or to the EAUC’s Greening of ICT with JISC webpage for further details. (http://www.eauc.org.uk/greening_ict_with_jisc)

The Utilisation of Space in Universities and Colleges.
As university real estate is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive to manage the SUSTE-TECH project will run a workshop on exactly that topic. This event will examine how Estates departments can optimise space at their institution and examine how ICT can help make existing space more pedagogic. The event's location and date in August has yet to be decided but a link to register to attend this event will be created in due course so please return to this blogpage or to the EAUC’s Greening of ICT with JISC webpage for further details. (http://www.eauc.org.uk/greening_ict_with_jisc)

PC Powerdown.
An event that examines the use of PC Powerdown is being planned for Autumn 2011. The event's location has yet to be decided but speakers will include ICT managers from a range of FHE institutions and researchers from various JISC funded projects. A link to register to attend this event will be created shortly so please return to this blogpage or to the EAUC’s Greening of ICT with JISC webpage for further details. (http://www.eauc.org.uk/greening_ict_with_jisc)