Javascript Menu by
Skip to main content

more options

...making IT easy to be green


Cornell will “do everything within its ability, consistent with the university’s obligations for teaching, research, service and extension, to implement the Kyoto Protocol standards and to issue a regular report on our progress.” –Hal Craft, former vice president for administration

We are all confronted with the combined challenges of climate change and sustainable development.  Many organizations at the university, lead by the Utilities & Energy Management team, have been working to reduce energy consumption and to purchase or create renewable energy resources. 
We, in Facilities Services (FS) Computer & Network Support (CNS), would like to do our part by considering the negative impact information technology (IT) has on the environment throughout its lifecycle; from purchasing to power to use to disposal.

To quote former Cornell president Jeffrey Lehman, “Sustainability problems have a characteristic structure.  They require some form of adaptive innovation, some form of substitute approach, to be developed and implemented before time runs out.”  The FS Sustainable Computing Committee has investigated the direct and indirect impact of IT on our environment and has developed programs, policies, and initiatives to mediate some of the challenges posed.  This guide describes our vision and outlines our plans.


The core idea of sustainability is that current generations should meet their own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

The specific aims of global sustainability, as defined by the Kyoto Protocol, can be summarized as follows (taken from Sustainable Computing by Sun Microsystems, 2005):

  • To reduce global resource extraction by half
  • To decouple resource use from economic growth
  • To increase the efficiency of primary resource use
  • To decrease energy requirements by 4-10 fold

The goals of our sustainable computing initiatives in Facilities Services focus on reducing our environmental footprint.  We are working towards reducing, reusing, and recycling by centering our initiatives in the areas of power, waste, purchasing, and education.  In the following pages, we will describe in detail our policies, programs, and procedures and their benefits – both business and environmental.  We invite you to partner with us to create a more sustainable computing environment in Facilities Services.