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Climate Change & Clean Energy

On Oct. 29, 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 80, outlining North Carolina’s commitment to address climate change and to promote clean energy by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the number of registered zero-emission vehicles and reducing energy consumption in state-owned buildings.

The N.C. Department of Information Technology recognizes that global climate change poses a threat, especially for coastal regions that are vulnerable to extreme weather events such as hurricanes. The department stands with other state agencies to reduce environmental impact.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality also has a website with more information about Executive Order 80 as well as how state agencies are responding.

In response to the executive order, NC DIT is evaluating the impacts of climate change on its programs and operations and integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation practices into its policies, programs and operations.

Our Response

To reduce our environmental impact, NC DIT is committed to making efforts in the following areas:

  • Reduce paper processing by promoting electronic reporting and distribution to agencies.
  • Reduce internal environmental impacts by improving energy-efficiency in our data center facilities and Raleigh headquarters building.
  • Procure energy-efficient information technology equipment and evaluate working relationships with current and future vendors to see if there are there are opportunities to reduce our environmental impact.
  • Analyze our use of long-term lease and motor fleet vehicles to see if there are opportunities to improve energy efficiency.
  • Focus on employee-centric programs that increase environmental awareness and increase opportunities for telecommuting.

Proposed Next Steps

Electronic Report Distribution

Electronic report distribution reduces paper waste and paper processing, which reduces impacts on the environment. Goals include:

  • Encouraging agencies to use eBooks and iPad technology devices for reading reports to reduce paper usage and eliminate daily paper reporting
  • Enhancing our mainframe and distributed applications and increasing our promotional efforts to cut down significantly on statewide paper processing
  • Encouraging agencies to enhance conference rooms with newer technologies that allow easy informational presentations, from the laptops to electronic wall displays, to eliminate the need for paper reporting during meeting and briefings

Reducing Internal Environmental Impacts

To improve energy efficiency at NC DIT data centers:

  • Work with the facilities manager to continue adding energy-efficient features as preferences when operating from state-owned or leased facilities
  • Consider requiring charging stations for zero-emissions vehicles
  • Evaluate the energy-efficient features of current facilities
  • Discuss plans for energy-efficient improvements with vendors
  • Continue use of or install motion-activated lighting in individual offices
  • Replace data center utility systems that are not energy-efficient
  • Incorporate data center information management tools to monitor energy management and heat displacement
  • Evaluate the utilization of individual modular rack coolant environmental systems instead of cooling the entire data center room

To improve energy efficiency at NC DIT headquarters:

  • Continue using automatic lighting timers
  • Continue collaborating with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality energy manager to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption
  • Continue improving HVAC systems to increase efficiency

Procurement

  • Add new language to solicitations for energy-efficient features and vendors supporting energy efficiency
  • As part of the agency replacement plan, purchase more energy-efficient equipment, such as:
    • Power distribution units
    • Cooling units
    • Servers (produces less heat)
    • LED lighting

Vehicles

  • Analyze the use of long-term lease and motor fleet vehicles
  • Identify opportunities to lease hybrid vehicles
  • Identify opportunities to use zero-emission vehicles offered by motor fleet

Employee-Centric Programs

  • Continue to expand teleworking opportunities
  • Create marketing and awareness campaigns to encourage recycling and other energy conservation best practices
  • Promote Executive Order 80 by posting information on energy conservation in service centers