IT Sustainability Initiatives

 Current Initiatives

Green Purchasing, Printing, and Recycling 

Pierce County IT has long been a proponent of sustainable disposal of computer equipment and other electronic components at the end of their life cycles. In support of this mission, IT is proud to continue our decade-plus history of providing surplus computers and components to charitable organizations and government-sanctioned recycling programs. Even better, our electronic sustainability efforts save the county money, year after year.

Pierce County IT further supports the county's sustainability initiatives by:

  • Recommending the purchase and set-up of duplex printers
  • Assisting departments in providing electronic documents instead of paper
  • Promoting the usage of the Pierce County Equipment Disposal program
  • Recycling all used print cartridges
  • Providing office recycling containers at all IT Department locations
  • Implementing minimal packaging standards on IT equipment shipments to county departments
  • Eliminating 4,000 (eight reams) of printed paper each month by providing phone logs electronically
  • Striving to reach the goal of 50% or more of office products to contain recycled content
  • Signing the Plug Load Solutions Pledge stating that we will take steps to reduce our energy use, become a leader in procuring efficient products, and reduce our impact on shared natural resources

Stop Junk Mail Program

Junk mail is as much a problem at the office as it is at home. That’s why the IT Sustainability Team started the Stop Junk Mail program. The program initially focused on stopping mail being sent to former IT employees, but has since expanded to include all employees.

Smart Strips Program

The IT Department has recently purchased Smart Strips with auto-switching technology. This green feature not only saves money and energy, but also makes shutting down devices fast and easy.

Video & Phone Conference Services

Through a number of systems supported by the Information Technology Department, Pierce County employees are able to utilize phone and video conferencing services to help reduce the county's environmental footprint while conducting remote Pierce County business. 

 Past Accomplishments

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program

  • Date Awarded: June 18, 2009
  • Awarding Agency: U.S. Department of Energy
  • Name of Award: EECBG Energy Efficient Storage Upgrade
  • Amount of Award Spent by IT: $101,00
  • Status: Completed Fourth Quarter 2011
The EECBG IT award is a sub-recipient of Pierce County's total award of $4,376,400. This grant was used to replace Pierce County’s ten-year-old disk storage units with a modern, energy efficient unit. The new storage unit saves an estimated 12,600 watts per hour, with additional savings in cooling capacity of 45,120 BTUs per hour. These cost-saving improvements will allow the county to reinvest funds in other areas.

Windows File System Project

With a primary focus on saving money, maximizing staff productivity and increasing business continuity, Pierce County migrated from a decentralized NetWare file server solution to a centralized Windows File System solution for storing documents and files.

The now-completed Windows File System project was an overall success. Fiscally, this project allowed the county to eliminate more than $150,000 in annual costs. In addition to these hard-dollar cost savings, sustainability benefits were also gained. The project is now delivering significant power savings of at least 87,500 kilowatt-hours (kwh) per year.