A lot has been done to reduce our energy usage, educating students and staff on their first arrival on site with an induction pack on good practices with regard to IT, for example turning off monitors and computers after use. Careful placement of Energy Wise posters around the centre acts as a visual reminder and reinforces our policies to both students and staff alike.
Technology gives us the tools that allow us as IT technicians to implement policies on our network with full control and immediate effect. A script on the domain has being created by our IT team to turn off all computers on the network after 9 pm. As an extra precaution, all our IT equipment which includes monitors, computers and laptop operating systems have a power saving mode that is enabled when they are configured.
Our work place encourages staff to use Google Drive facilities and other e-portfolios such as creating documents and sharing them, so several staff members can collaborate on them at the same time, saving the amount of paper used and any additional energy used to print. Our website also displays various important documents such as the Staff and Student Handbooks and news for staff and students, removing the need for a paper-based newsletter.
We purchase our printing paper from a company called Viking which utilises fifty percent recycled paper; the packaging is then reused by staff for holding and transporting files and folders. We also reuse any discarded paper from prints or paper jams as memo paper. Sheets can also be used as scrap paper for students to use in lessons. Any paper that can not be used will be put in the paper recycling bins. There are paper recycling bins in every classroom. They are then collected and put in green wheelie bin and collected by Hackney Council to be recycled.
We purchased our fridge freezer, dish washer and kettle with the highest energy efficiency (indexed by the European Union) which we, as a charity, could afford. The initial cost may have been higher then other lower energy efficiency brands but the saving we make in their running costs pays off.
Old Computers Refurbished
We have signed up with The Microsoft Refurbishment Program which enables us to refurbish and sell our old computers at a reasonable price. Any computers that cannot be refurbished are used in the classroom lab for teaching purposes.
We have introduced a program called Papercut which is a web based printing administration software to help manage our printing by giving students credit limit with which to print on their work. If they go over the limit they will have to pay for more credit, a great incentive for students to think twice about printing lots of pages and not to print frivolously.
Methods such as enforcing the limit on paper used when printing are very effective. Our print server which manages all our printers and copiers is set by default to print pages in duplex (double sided) and always in black and white. In rare cases when a teacher needs to print in colour they can contact the IT Support Team which will unlock color printing from Papercut for the duration of that print. Initiatives such as these help us save and protect valuable resources so that we can concentrate on our core mission of supporting people into better employment and life opportunities through free IT, web and English training.