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5 tips to make your small business greener

What can you do to make your business more environmentally friendly? We’ve got five simple tips here which can help further your green credentials, from advice on server maintenance to the education of your employees.

Look at services for back-end applications

Consider ditching that old email server and moving your SMB's email to a hosted service. Now you're saving money by running one server fewer and dropping any man-hours that went towards managing that server. You might even be saving per-user pounds if the hosting service is cheaper than a per-seat-plus-server software license. Finally, hosting providers offer instant-on options that combine compatible software features. So instead of just email, you could run public folders through SharePoint or combine email with a virtual PBX simply by upgrading your account – no additional infrastructure is required. Investigating hosted and SaaS options is my favourite tip for saving money and running less power.

Maintain servers

Regular maintenance of servers and surrounding rack and cooling technology can save loads of operating costs. Maximise your cooling investment by reorganising your server room to make it more efficient.

Reconfigure your UPS software

Plenty of the smarts in UPS management software often goes untapped. Typically, you'll see this software simply monitoring UPS conditions and providing email alerts when the UPS has to kick in. But some UPS software can also shut down power to specific devices on a scheduled basis – that’s very green and a great way to save money.

Use desktop management software

The desktop management software you're using has great green potential. Via Wake on LAN, remote admin access, and similar technologies, these packages can enforce features like sleep mode settings, hard disk spin rates, CPU shutdown schedules, and more to keep idle equipment from sucking loads of unnecessary power.

Educate your staff

You should remind employees to turn their office equipment off when they leave and to recycle resources from paper to PCs. Staff should turn off lights and shut off heating during off-hours (or indeed fans/air conditioning in the summer). And, perhaps most importantly, managers can start examining the effects these practices have on utility cost savings, charitable donation tax credits, and more. After all, saving money is the best way for SMBs to keep on being green.