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Sustainability in Information Technology

From research labs to staff desks to student dorms, computers are a way of life at Stanford. Everywhere you go on campus, you are in the midst of technology. Stanford hosts approximately 40,000 desktop and laptop computers and has roughly 6,000 servers used for administrative and research computing. All of this equipment is a significant source of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, especially when every stage of its production and use lifecycle is accounted for, such as manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal. In addition, computers generate heat and it often takes as much energy to cool computing equipment as it takes to run it. Approximately 15 percent of our campus electricity energy use is due to our IT infrastructure. 

The Sustainable IT program is a joint effort between the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management and Information Technology Services and includes targeted efforts to address sustainability issues for both IT equipment and the facilities that house these systems, as well as provide resources for individuals looking to efficiently manage technology. The ultimate goals are to increase the efficiency of our IT infrastructure and  reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by computing and IT-related activities. 

To stay up to date on advances in Sustainable IT at Stanford, join the Sustainable IT Working Group. Email Rashmi Sahai ( to join.