Sustainability Initiatives in William & Mary Information Technology

As part of an ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, W&M IT has introduced several department initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainability on the W&M campus. Between high energy consumption and the concentration of plastics and metals in devices, electronics certainly aren't the most environmentally friendly products. However, these traditional obstacles have allowed W&M IT to seek innovative solutions for greater sustainability. 

Migrating to the Cloud

As part of the Business Innovation initiative, W&M IT has been systematically moving technology services to the cloud. Not only does this produce a business efficiency for the university, but also an environmental one.  Moving to the cloud helps to decrease W&M's energy use and to promote the use of more sustainable technology services. One of the most popular services in the cloud is Box, W&M's official file sharing program. Blackboard also recently migrated to the Cloud. More services are slated to be moved to the cloud in the upcoming year with several other services under consideration.


W&M IT is currently piloting a program called DocuSign in order to cut down on printing costs, reduce the amount of .pdf forms on campus, and scale down on manual data entry. DocuSign is an electronic forms tool that is meant to replace paper forms by allowing its users to securely sign electronic documents. In addition, DocuSign makes it easy to send documents from anywhere, while also safely storing documents for later use. Overall, the program would allow W&M to gather and share information more efficiently. 

EPEAT-registered Technology

It is a goal of W&M IT to seek out the most sustainable electronics possible. That is why W&M IT has been purchasing EPEAT-registered technology products that meet strict environmental criteria. In addition, the university-wide PC and laptop leasing program, as well as the Xerox copier leasing program are utilizing products that meet EPEAT standards.

Reducing Energy Use

In recent years, William & Mary reorganized our physical Internet connections which allowed IT to drastically cut back on the equipment used to maintain those connections. Reducing the amount of equipment meant our servers are pulling less electricity and less power will be needed to cool our server room. 

Virtual Machines at W&M

Several of W&M IT's engineering groups make use of virtual machines. Virtual machines allow our engineers to use one piece of computer hardware to define various systems through software. This means they can reuse hardware for the various systems they manage. For instance, all the Unix services such as the Central Authentication System, Swem Library's systems and many of our campus-wide servers, are all run on virtual machines.