Inderscience Publishers

Energy-efficient and environmentally safe information and communication technology usage in higher education institutions: a "practise-what-you-preach" challenge

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During the past 15 years, in the quest for energy-efficient Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), scientists from several universities - including the University of Bordeaux 1 since the outset - institutes, laboratories and consultants worldwide, have devoted much effort to convincing policy makers, manufacturers and users not to ignore ICTs as a key energy end-use sector. In the same period of time, within the framework of the first Earth Summit (Rio-de-Janeiro 1992), then becoming more and more concerned with environmental issues, many teams of scientists have both set up new academic programmes and quite exciting research work in this area. However, a much more limited number of scientists have established, as a key priority, the environmental management of their own Higher Education (HE) institution; a policy summarised through the ECOCAMPUS motto: "Practise What You Preach". In such a context, as shown in the present paper, ICTs may be seen as a significant cornerstone to implement an environmental strategy. In Section 1, a brief survey of the 15 years (1987-2002) of energy efficient ICTs is given. In Section 2, a case study is presented that introduces the implementation of Demand-Side Management (DSM) programs in a special sector of HE institutions, namely student hostels and restaurants, through ICT capabilities. In Section 3, a prospective view of the impact of related end-of-life electronics and electrical goods (ELEEG) issues is briefly introduced in a way that could make it possible to reduce the cost of recycling cathode ray tubes (CRTs).

Keywords: energy efficiency, demand-side management, environmental management, information and communication technologies (ICT), higher education institutions, Ecocampus

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