Computing and Information Technology 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.
By Fall 2013, CIT will replace over 170 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.
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 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.
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.
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 is currently under development. It will
allow students to participate in courses and seminars remotely from
their computers or mobile devices. The virtual classroom will
alleviate classroom demands, saving resources and cutting travel
costs for students, faculty and guest speakers.
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.
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.
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.