28 by 2020? Meeting the Government’s Sustainability Goals
Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and everyone at Cisco is still thinking green. We just launched our Borderless Networks Architecture, which includes new EnergyWise capabilities that will allow our customers to reduce the energy consumption of PCs and other IT devices, among other things. Combined with our Networked Building Mediator technology, we’re now able to help customers lesson the overall carbon footprint of their IT and buildings systems.
Given that, I’ve been thinking about President Obama’s recent commitment for the federal government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2020 and how technology can play a role. Solutions such as virtualization, collaboration, and connected real estate (or “smart” buildings) are already bringing to agencies lower costs, greater energy efficiency, and increased employee productivity.
The U.S. Postal Service used to train its employees face-to-face. Using collaboration technologies USPS can now train its employees remotely without the need to travel, as mentioned in my recent interview with Federal News Radio. The agency contributed to environmental sustainability by lowering commuting emissions, but also expects to reduce its annual travel costs by approximately $10 million and lower voice conferencing costs by 50 percent.
Government entities with large real estate footprints have a significant opportunity to use technology to unite disparate systems, save costs and reduce energy emissions. This Government Executive article states how an Army base could avoid conflicting heating and cooling systems and save significant resources. And on the state and local front, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General reaped a 40 percent reduction in energy usage by using server and storage virtualization technologies, as Government Computer News states in its most recent cover story titled “Virtual Success.”
Schools and universities can also benefit from technology to become more efficient. For example, watch this video on how Ave Maria University in Florida has achieved building efficiencies and enhanced services by integrating building systems, and is saving over $1 million in building costs and an estimated annual savings of $600,000 from utility usage efficiencies.
These are just a few examples on how government at all levels as well as universities are helping advance our nation’s sustainability goals. And more can be done. Collaboration between the private and public sectors to make the President’s vision a reality could even help government reach 28 percent before 2020. And that’s green!