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Environmental Stewardship

Computing and Information Technology (CIT) is committed to making the university more sustainable and efficient, both saving energy and preserving resources.

UB’s environmental footprint is significant. As an early signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, UB is implementing a comprehensive strategic plan to minimize our negative environmental impact. The action plan calls for UB to become climate neutral by 2030.

Virtual Desktop Initiative

CIT has replaced over 200 computer workstations with virtual desktop devices in various public computing site locations, with plans to add more going forward. These thin client box computers provide display, keyboard and mouse connectivity to a virtual workstation emulation on a server. These boxes are more energy efficient and reduce computer waste.

My Virtual Computing Lab

Mobile technology has the potential to offer persistent connectivity and virtually unlimited access to information, resources and tools without regard to physical location. UB is at the forefront of mobile technology through UB’s My Virtual Computing Lab, which provides students, faculty, and staff with complete access to public computing software and services, all from the convenience of their home, residence hall room, or office. The number of computers needed, as enrollment increases, in UB cybraries can be stabilized instead of increased. This will have a long-term impact on UB’s energy consumption as will as a positive impact on fossil fuel usage as fewer students require transportation to a cybrary to work.

Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education for UB students is another cloud-based application like My Virtual Computing Lab. By offering the application to UB alumni, UB incurs no further energy use.

UBlearns

Through UBlearns, students and faculty have online access to course and classroom tools and materials. This system provides a tremendous savings and environmental impact by reducing printed course material distribution.

iprint@ub

UB’s iprint@ub management system has reduced the number of pages printed at public computing sites by more than half—from approximately 50 million paper sheets in 2001 to 15 million in 2011. It has also drastically cut associated costs and waste materials such as paper and toner. UB cybraries also only use recycled paper for printing.

UB Virtual Classroom & Course Capture Software

UB Virtual Classroom (Lync) allows students to participate in courses and seminars remotely from their computers or mobile devices. UB also uses course capture software to allow students to enjoy recorded courses from anywhere. These services relieve classroom demands, save resources and cut travel costs for students, faculty and guest speakers.

Server Consolidation and Virtualization

Server virtualization is arguably the most effective transformative technology of the last decade.  By combining the work of multiple independent servers onto one physical server, remarkable savings in energy and space can be achieved. Virtualization can further conserve space and energy on campus by reducing the need for multiple datacenters and instead locate the virtualized servers in a single high efficiency datacenter. At the end of 2012, over 850 virtualized servers compliment the 375 physical servers in UBIT datacenters.

Equipment Recycling

Any UB-owned electronic equipment which plugs into a wall, has a cord, battery or circuit board can be recycled. UB-owners arrange for inventory removal and pick up for recycling.

CIT maintains CD recycling boxes around campus. CDs are professionally destroyed to prevent re-use and avoid dumping in landfills.

Green Data Center Initiative

Data centers full of servers with high-end power and cooling needs are among the campus’ largest consumers of electricity. "Green” data centers are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact.  The operational efficiency of UB’s data centers have been substantially improved through implementation of new cooling technologies and the installation of environmental monitoring systems that optimize data center operation.  Indeed, implementation of recent advances has allowed UB to reduce energy consumption in one data center by 20% while the data center’s compute and storage capacity was simultaneously increased by a factor of 10.

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