Technology and Sustainability
information technology services
Information Technology Services is committed to furthering the University's efforts for a more sustainability campus. Learn what steps we are taking to reduce our environmental impact.
Ink & Toner Recycling. BC recycles both laser printer toner and inkjet printer cartridges. Learn how to recycle your used printer cartridges.
Duplexing. Many printers across campus are capable of printing two-sided. We encourage the community to use this feature whenever it's necessary to print a multi-page document. See our Help site for instructions on printing double-sided in the Campus Technology Resource Center (CTRC).
Print Management. Over the past five years, ITS has reduced paper and toner costs by 62%. In 2007, we introduced print management into the CTRC and other labs on campus, reducing the amount of accidental and unwanted printouts. Before print management was in place, paper waste from the CTRC filled twelve large recycling bins each week. Today, it is rare to see the three bins that remain filled to capacity at the end of the week.
Digital Reporting. Over the past decade, we have almost completely eliminated printing reports from our central data systems, and are working towards eliminating the report printing entirely.
Communications. Since 2002, ITS Training and Communications has been developing web and email content to inform members of the community about our services, new technology offerings, and technology changes on campus. Communicating electronically reduces the need for paper announcements and printed advertisements.
Electronic Document Management. ITS provides and supports electronic document management systems for the community. These systems both increase efficiency and reduce paper usage. We are currently working on pilot programs to increase our support for mobile handheld devices, which will further reduce the need to carry printed copies of some documents.
Recycling & Disposal
Computers and Other Hardware. All computers replaced through the Boston College Computer Replacement program (BCCR) are repurposed or returned to our vendors for recycling. Last year, ITS recycled 6,600 computers. If you have non-BCCR equipment, such as department-owned computers, monitors, or peripherals that you would like recycled, learn how to get rid of old equipment.
Batteries. ITS works with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety in support of their battery recycling program.
E-waste. While ITS recycles much of its obsolete and broken hardware, some items cannot be recycled. In such cases, this electronic waste, or e-waste, is properly disposed of to ensure that it does not contaminate our water supplies, soil, or air. ITS currently has two full-time staff members certified in the proper handling of e-waste. BC is unable to accept personal computers and other hardware for disposal. Many computer manufacturers, electronics retail stores, and municipal waste departments accept e-waste for a small fee.
Power Management. ITS works with faculty and staff to find optimal power settings for desktop and laptop computers. By better understanding end users' computer needs, we reduce the amount of energy each computer uses.
Virtualization. In recent years, ITS has implemented virtualization, which allows us to run multiple servers on a single system. This has allowed us to reduce the number of systems we have. Through virtualization we have reduced the amount of energy each server uses by almost 40%. While the number of servers in recent years has increased, the energy used by ITS servers has actually declined as shown in the graph below.
Other Sustainability Resources
Soaring to Sustainability. An on-line resource from Facilities Management dedicated to sustainability efforts at Boston College, with information and articles related to conservation, tips for reducing your carbon footprint, as well as initiatives conducted by students, faculty and staff.
Energy Dashboard. View real-time and historical campus energy usage statistics.
BC Green Guide. A website showcasing student-created media about environmental practices at Boston College.