The University of San Francisco: Information Technology Services
Information Technology

Green IT

In support of the social responsibility aspect of the University's mission, ITS is committed to implementing environmentally smart solutions to establish a sustainable technology infrastructure.

Top 10 Green IT Tips

1 - Turn your computer off when you are done for the day

Unless you need your computer to do something overnight, there's no good reason to keep it on, even in sleep mode. In addition to saving energy, turning off the computer helps reduce heat, stress, and wear on the system.

2 - Use your computer's power management settings

Reduce energy when you are away from your computer for short periods of time.

Power Management Configuration Instructions

3 - Keep your personal printer off when not in use

In most cases, a printer uses more power than any other device, even when in sleep mode.

4 - Think before you print

Do you really need to print out another draft of that paper or bring extra copies of the agenda to meetings?

5 - If you must print, print double-sided

You'll use half the paper. If possible, change your printer settings to default to double- sided.

6 - Reduce the brightness of your monitor

The brightest settings draw the most power.

7 - Always recycle printer cartridges and paper

Printer cartridges need to be sent or delivered to a company that does cartridge recycling. Some companies pay for used cartridges. For more information, see

8 - Don't use a screen saver

Screen savers were useful when CRTs had "burn-in" issues, but any new CRT or LCD will not have this issue. Screen savers may be fun, but they can use quite a bit of power, especially if they use high-quality graphics. If you go away from your computer, use your power settings to put the monitor to sleep or just turn it off.

9 - Use a "Smart Strip" power strip

Smart Strips power down all your computer peripherals at the same time when you turn off the computer so that you don't have to remember to turn them off separately.

10 - Look for the Energy Star when you shop

Energy Star AskEnergy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. For more information on Energy Star guidelines, see the Energy Star website.

To assist you in making environmentally sound purchases, EPEAT ranks computers, monitors, and printers that meet 23 required environmental criteria and 28 optional criteria.

Current Green IT Initiatives

    Green IT - Display
  • Desktop Power Management:
    As part of the desktop power management efforts, ITS will be pushing the Faronics Power Save application onto university-owned computers (both Mac and PC) during the summer of 2009. This software will be able to accurately determine when a computer is idle, and power the unit off or switch it to a power-save state (e.g. hibernation, standby).
    Faronics analyzes CPU, hard drive, application, and peripheral activity before taking any power management actions. With thousands of electronic devices on campus, this could result in significant energy savings, while helping establish a campus-wide awareness of the importance of energy conservation.
  • Server Virtualization:
    According to, a Storage Area Network (SAN) is a high-speed special-purpose network that interconnects different kinds of data storage devices, such as disk arrays, with associated data servers on behalf of a larger network of users.

    In early April 2009, ITS replaced its existing SAN with one produced by the company NetApp. This SAN uses newer disk drives with a much larger capacity. Fewer spindles (with fewer trays) are needed to house these disk drives, reducing the amount of energy used.
  • Improve efficiency of Storage Area Network (SAN):
    During the summer of 2009, ITS began the process of replacing old servers with virtual machines. Doing so will provide a virtual infrastructure for server hosting purposes, such as new small applications that still require its own server. Multiple virtual servers can be stored on one physical server. Thus, fewer physical servers are necessary. This allows ITS to reduce the environmental cost of our data centers, the most significant of which includes savings on energy and HVAC overhead (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning).

Helpful Links

Green IT - Leaf Button


USF's Sustainability Web Site

Green IT Team Members

Diana Fernandez
Patrick Kao
Sabina Nieto
Caitlin Palmer
Vince Villarama
Teresa Young