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EVS 300


Environmental Science and Policy


As conservation and sustainability have become higher priority issues, new topics have been introduced as potential solutions for making the planet a healthier place. Whereas recycling and rainforest preservation were previously the major options when one imagines how to be sustainable, reductions in energy consumption are now being considered as valuable contributions to sustainability. This project addressed a specific avenue of energy consumption at Smith College: the excessive use of IT devices and possible ways to consolidate machines as well as bringing awareness to campus employees.

Two different evaluations were conducted. The first determined how the consolidation of a particular subset of machines into multi-functional devices (MFD’s) would change overall energy use. The second surveyed locations on campus to establish in which circumstances excessive energy use was occurring and if there was potential for reduction. The methodology for each evaluation involved a survey of machines and research into the energy consumed by devices at the particular locations, either via direction measurement or published materials.

A total of 75 Canon copiers currently exist at Smith College. The number of Xerox MFD’s to replace them and the number of devices each MFD will replace has yet to be determined. One floor in two separate buildings was surveyed for the second component. The administrative building showed a remarkably higher amount of IT devices (and also energy consumption) than did the academic building. The biggest contributor to this difference resides in the fact that the majority of offices in academic settings have personal IT devices in each office, as opposed to sharing by floor. The simplest solution is to decrease inefficient older machines and excessive use in private offices and switch to password protected communityshared devices and MFD’s.


© 2009; Chelsea Vaughn