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    How UEM Contributes to Green IT and Sustainability

    Did you know that 2023 was the hottest year ever in the history[1] (at least 173 years) of humankind? We also surpassed the critical limit set forth by the Paris Climate Agreement of a global rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius, with 2023 standing at a global temperature rise of 1.52 degrees Celsius. Though not at a tipping point yet, the alarm is well and truly set!

    The collective responsibility of sustainability and green practices isn’t just limited to individuals and heavy industries anymore. Corporate houses, startups, and regular businesses are increasingly held accountable for their impact on the environment. It’s not just about top and bottom lines; carbon footprints and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions matter equally. One function of all global businesses that can have a dominant impact on the environment is IT.

    Green IT and Sustainability with UEM
    How UEM Enables Green IT

    As awareness of environmental issues grows, so does the pursuit of sustainability in IT operations. This is where green IT comes to the limelight, integrating principles of sustainability into the lifecycle of IT operations to minimize environmental impact. Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) can come to the fore as a powerful tool that enhances green information technology practices among the various technology solutions that contribute to green IT.

    What is Green IT?

    Green Information Technology, commonly referred to as green IT, embodies the philosophy and practice of using computer/mobile devices, endpoints, and IT resources in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. The concept extends beyond mere energy savings, encompassing a wide range of practices such as designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers and associated subsystems (like printers, storage devices, and networking systems) with minimal or no impact on the environment.

    Green IT involves initiatives and strategies that reduce the environmental footprint of technology. This can include:

    Energy-efficient computing: Utilizing technologies and methods that reduce the energy consumption of devices and infrastructure.

    Resource conservation: Implementing practices that reduce material use and encourage recycling and reuse of IT components.

    Environmentally friendly design: Designing products with their entire lifecycle in mind to minimize their environmental impact, from production to disposal.

    Sustainable practices: Adopting and promoting operations that support long-term ecological balance, such as virtualization, green cloud computing, and server consolidation.

    Importance of Green IT

    Green IT is crucial in today’s world due to its numerous benefits for businesses, the environment, and society at large. Here’s why green IT matters:

    Environmental impact reduction: IT operations contribute significantly to an organization’s carbon footprint due to energy consumption and electronic waste. Green IT practices can mitigate this by reducing power usage and decreasing GHG emissions, thus helping combat climate change.

    Cost reduction: Energy costs can be a substantial part of an organization’s budget. Efficient energy use can lead to significant cost savings over time. For example, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), activating sleep settings on just one computer can save around $25–$75[2] annually in electricity costs.

    Regulatory compliance and reporting: With increasing global attention to environmental issues, many countries have introduced regulations requiring companies to reduce their carbon emissions and increase their sustainability efforts. Green IT helps organizations comply with regulations and improve their reporting on sustainability.

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Implementing green IT practices improves a company’s CSR profile, enhancing its image as a responsible business. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, better employee engagement, and enhanced brand image as an employer.

    Innovation and competitiveness: Organizations that embrace green IT often innovate to improve efficiency, which can lead to the development of new, sustainable products and services. This helps differentiate their brand in the market and makes them more competitive.

    Resource management: Effective resource management is critical in IT operations. Green IT emphasizes reducing resource wastage through improved asset management, extending the life of equipment, and using fewer materials for packaging and shipping.

    Role of Unified Endpoint Management in Green IT

    UEM solutions provide a holistic approach to managing and securing all enterprise endpoints—such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets—under a single platform. By simplifying the management of these devices, UEM enhances operational efficiency and significantly contributes to green IT sustainability. 

    Below, we explore several key areas where UEM facilitates green IT practices.

    Energy Efficiency and Device Optimization

    UEM platforms enable IT administrators to manage the power settings of all connected devices centrally. For instance, devices can be configured to enter low-power states during periods of inactivity or outside of business hours. This seemingly simple measure can lead to substantial reductions in energy consumption. 

    According to research[3], energy management systems in IT can reduce energy usage by up to 50%, along with significant carbon emission reduction. By ensuring all devices are optimally configured for energy savings, UEM contributes directly to the goals of green information technology.

    Extended Lifecycle Management

    The lifecycle of IT equipment is a critical factor in its environmental impact. Extending the lifespan of devices reduces waste and the demand for raw materials needed for new devices. UEM enhances device longevity by providing regular updates, maintenance, and security patches, which keep devices in optimal working condition for longer periods. Furthermore, a UEM solution can help identify and repurpose underutilized devices, ensuring they are used efficiently throughout their lifecycle.

    Reduction in Electronic Waste

    Electronic waste (e-waste) is one of the fastest-growing waste streams globally, with significant environmental repercussions due to the toxic substances it contains. By extending the life of IT equipment and promoting reusability, UEM solutions help reduce the volume of e-waste generated. Moreover, effective endpoint management ensures that devices are wiped clean of data and decommissioned properly at the end of their life, facilitating safe recycling practices.

    Paperless Processes

    Reducing paper usage in an organization can be an example of green IT. UEM plays a pivotal role here by supporting mobile and remote workflows that inherently promote paperless operations. With features that support document sharing, electronic signatures, and other online resources, UEM solutions encourage a move away from paper-based processes, thereby saving trees and reducing waste. This shift supports sustainability and enhances productivity by streamlining document access and workflows.

    Optimized Software Deployment

    UEM solutions facilitate the efficient deployment and management of apps and software across all endpoints, ensuring devices are not overloaded with unnecessary applications that can strain hardware and increase energy consumption. By managing everything centrally, UEM ensures only essential applications are installed, which minimizes the carbon footprint associated with running and maintaining additional software or apps.

    Remote Work Enablement

    The rise of remote work has been significantly supported by UEM. By enabling secure and efficient remote access to organizational resources, UEM reduces the need for commuting, which, in turn, lowers GHG emissions associated with transportation. 

    A report estimates[4] that if those with remote work-compatible jobs worked from home even half the time, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking the entire New York State workforce permanently off the road.

    Enable Green IT Ops for Sustainability with Scalefusion UEM

    There’s a good probability that 2024 might beat 2023 as the hottest year ever in human history. Before things get out of hand in the near future, organizations must buckle up and add more intent to their sustainability efforts and carbon footprint reduction. While it’s not the sole solution to address the environmental and energy crisis, Unified Endpoint Management can, in more ways than one, be a green IT and sustainability enabler. 

    By enhancing energy efficiency, extending device lifecycles, reducing e-waste, supporting paperless processes, optimizing app usage, and enabling remote work, UEM significantly contributes to an organization’s environmental sustainability goals. 

    As businesses continue on their path of digital transformation, the role of a UEM solution like Scalefusion in promoting green IT practices becomes increasingly vital. In this way, organizations achieve operational excellence and security and contribute to the global imperative of environmental sustainability. 

    Contact our experts to explore more and opt for Scalefuson to enable green IT ops and sustainability. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial

    References:
    1. Vox Media
    2. US EPA
    3. Codibly
    4. Global Workplace Analytics

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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