Green IT: Hofstra University’s Information Technology Upgrades Created Unplanned Sustainable “Green Benefits” by Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Costs

  • Margaret Linehan
  • Catherine Fisher


This case study demonstrates how efficient Information Technology (IT) is sustainable “Green IT.” Just before 2009, Hofstra University recognized the need to upgrade their IT used throughout the school by the students, faculty, and staff. The University’s primary concern was to reduce the cost of IT to the school while maintaining efficiency. Sustainability is practiced by Hofstra University; yet it was not included in the IT Department’s plan to reduce costs and operate efficiently. The plan included improving energy efficiency in the data center and transitioning to virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs). IT has the potential to impact the global environment negatively; however, sustainability can be achieved by following various efficient methods. This case study demonstrates how Hofstra University is doing just that.


Green IT Sustainability IT Efficiency VDI Data center Cost savings Environment Energy 



Thank you to the Hofstra IT staff for their hard work and support for this chapter.

Robert W. Juckiewicz: Vice President for IT

Antonio Leo: Director of Systems and Operations

Toon-Chien Wong: Associate Technical Director of Systems and Operations

Joshua Daubert: Systems Project Mgr. and Mgr. of Data Center Operations

Luc-Philippe Paulemon: Instructional Technologist

Alexander Rosenberg: Computer Science Systems Administrator


  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Cloud Computing Services. 2017. Amazon Web Services. Inc.
  2. An Overview of VirtualBox 2. 2008. An Overview of VirtualBox 2 – Virtuatopia. March 4. Accessed 1 Oct 2017.
  3. Barrass Hugh, Christian Berard, Stephen Berard, Mark Bramfitt, Tahir Cader, Henry Coles, Jud Cooley, Tommy Darby, Jamie Froedge Emerson, Nick Gruendler, Jon Haas, Eric Jewitt, Christine Long, Bob MacArthur, Phil Morris, Zeydy Ortiz, John Pflueger, Andy Rawson, Jim Simonelli, Harkeeret Singh, Roger Tipley, Robert Tozer, Gary Verdun, John Wallerich, and Randall Wofford. 2012. PUE TM : A Comprehensive Examination of the Metric. The Green Grid.
  4. Beckett, Helen. 2017. How Green IT Delivers Big Energy Savings. ComputerWeekly.Com.
  5. Carlowicz, Michael. 2010. World of Change: Global Temperatures: Feature Articles. Earth Observatory, December 9.
  6. Chrobak, Pawel. 2014. Implementation of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in Academic Laboratories. In, 1139–1146. doi:
  7. Cooney, Michael. 2011. Computer Factories Eat Way More Energy than Running the Devices They Build Network World. IDG Communications, Inc. April 14.
  8. Corazon Aureus, Mia. 2014. Rise in China’s Coal-fired Capacity in 2014, 2015 May Not Boost Thermal Coal Prices: UBS – Coal. Platts News Article & Story, May 4.
  9. Cowley, Stacy, Tara Siegel-Bernard, and Danny Hakim. 2017. Equifax Breach Prompts Scrutiny, but New Rules May Not Follow – The New York Times. The New York Times, September 15.
  10. Daitch, Heidi. 2017. 2017 Data Breaches – The Worst Breaches, So Far | IdentityForce®. Identity Force, September 22.
  11. Dean, Jason, and Pui Wing Tam. 2005. The Laptop Trail the Modern PC Is a Model of Hyper Efficient Production and Geopolitical Sensitivities. The Laptop Trail, June 9.
  12. Erol-Kantarci, Melike, and Hussein T. Mouftah. 2015. Energy-Efficient Information and Communication Infrastructures in the Smart Grid: A Survey on Interactions and Open Issues. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials 17 (1): 179–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. European Commission Takes Leap to Boost Cloud Computing. 2013. EU Reporter. Accessed 24 Sept 2017.
  14. Fosdick, H. 2012. Computer Refurbishing: Environmentally Reducing the Digital Divide. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 38: 58–62. Scholar
  15. Gabriel, Chris. 2008. Why It’s Not Naive to Be Green. Business Information Review 25 (4). Scholar
  16. Green Computing. 2015. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research 6(9) (September 2015): 1513–1535.Google Scholar
  17. Global and China Laptop and Tablet PC Industry Report, 2011–2012. 2012. PR Newswire: Press Release Distribution, Targeting, Monitoring and Marketing, May 22.
  18. Graham, Karen. 2015. Baotou – A Toxic Lake Created because of a Thirst for Technology. Digital Journal, April 11.
  19. Griffith, Eric. 2016. What Is Cloud Computing? | PCMag.Com. PCMag, May 3.,2817,2372163,00.asp.
  20. Hamm, Michele P., Amanda S. Newton, Annabritt Chisholm, Jocelyn Shulhan, Andrea Milne, Purnima Sundar, Heather Ennis, Shannon D. Scott, and Lisa Hartling. 2015. Prevalence and Effect of Cyberbullying on Children and Young People: A Scoping Review of Social Media Studies. JAMA Pediatrics 169 (8): 770–777. Scholar
  21. Hill, Gerald, and Kathleen Hill. 2017. Legal Dictionary – Law.Com. Law.Com Legal Dictionary. Accessed 3 Oct 2017.
  22. Hofstra University, New York. 2017b. Grounds & Arboretum. Accessed 17 Sept 2017.
  23. ———. 2017d. Sustainability Studies. Accessed 21 Sept 2017.
  24. ———. 2017e. Debate 2016. Accessed 21 Sept 2017.
  25. ———. 2017f. Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Opens New Building, Earns Full National Accreditation. Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Hofstra University. Accessed 25 Sept 2017.
  26. ———. 2017i. Sustainability at Hofstra University. Accessed 17 Sept 2017.
  27. ———. 2018a. About Hofstra. Hofstra at a Glance. New York. Accessed 2 Feb 2018.
  28. ——— 2018c. Admission. Student Profile. Accessed 2 Feb 2018.
  29. ———. 2018g. Office of Sustainability. Environment. Accessed 2 Feb 2018.
  30. ———. 2018h. Office of Sustainability. Environment. Accessed 2 Feb 2018.
  31. Home. 2017. Sycamore International. Accessed 20 Dec 2016.
  32. Horton, Julia. 2012. Greenhouse Gases Rise by 260% Since Industrial Revolution – The Scotsman. November 20.
  33. Hruska, Joel. 2016. How Do SSDs Work? ExtremeTech, February 26.
  34. Iannucci, Lisa. 2006. New York City’s Recycling Programs – Where Does the Garbage Go?
  35. IBM – What Is Cloud Computing? 2016. October 17.
  36. Information Technology. 2017. Accessed 17 Sept 2017.
  37. Ives, Mike. 2017. Boom in Mining Rare Earths Poses Mounting Toxic Risks. Yale E360. Accessed 28 Jan 2017.
  38. Kelly, Heather. 2013. The Power of One Wrong Tweet – CNN. CNN, April 24.
  39. Kleyman, Bill. 2012. Hypervisor 101: Understanding the Virtualization Market. Data Center Knowledge. August 1.
  40. Lakhan, Calvin. 2016. Calculating the Emissions Impacts of Waste Electronics Recycling in Ontario, Canada. C 2 (2): 11. doi: Accessed 1 Apr 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lewin, Sarah. 2017. Heat Record: How NASA Knows 2016 Was the Hottest Year. Live Science, January 19.
  42. Lifton, Jack. 2011. The Issue of Residual Thorium & Uranium From Rare-Earth Ore Processing – Technology Metals Research. TMR Technology Metals Research. March 11.
  43. Mithas, Sunil, K. Prasanto Roy, and Jiban Khuntia. 2010. Green IT, Energy Efficiency, and Profits: Evidence from an Emerging Economy. In ICIS 2010 Proceedings, 11.
  44. Murugesan, San. 2008. Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices. IT Professional 10 (1): 24–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. NYC Department of Sanitation. 2015. DSNY – About – Recycling Laws for Residents.
  46. NYC Electronics Drop Off Locations. 2015. NYC Department of Sanitation. April 1.
  47. NYC Sanitation. 2017. New Business Recycling Rules. Accessed 23 Sep 2017.
  48. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Energy-Efficient Cooling Control Systems for Data Centers | Department of Energy. Accessed 20 Dec 2016.
  49. Recycling Consumer Electronic Waste – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. 2015. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. January 1.
  50. Rodrigue, Jean-Paul. 2017. The Environmental Impacts of Transportation. The Geography of Transport Systems. Accessed 23 Sept 2017.
  51. Rost, Katja, Lea Stahel, and Bruno S. Frey. 2016. Digital Social Norm Enforcement: Online Firestorms in Social Media. PLoS ONE 11 (6). Scholar
  52. Rouse, Margaret. 2014. What Is BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)? Definition from WhatIs.Com. Whatis.Com, August.
  53. ———. 2016a. What Is Operating System (OS)? Definition from WhatIs.Com. WhatIs.Com, September 2016.
  54. ———. 2016b. What Is RAM (Random Access Memory)? Definition from WhatIs.Com. SearchStorage, September. Accessed 17 Sept 2017.
  55. Schiavenza, Matt. 2013. China’s Dominance in Manufacturing – in One Chart – The Atlantic. The Atlantic, August 5.
  56. Schlossberg, Tatiana. 2016. Just How Much Power Do Your Electronics Use When They Are ‘Off’? The New York Times, May 7.
  57. Shane, Scott. 2017. Mystery of Russian Fake on Facebook Solved, by a Brazilian. The New York Times, September 13.
  58. Student VDI Georgia Northwestern Technical College. 2017.
  59. The New IBM System x M4 servers A Microsoft Exchange. 2012. IBM Systems and Technology Group, March.Google Scholar
  60. Toxins Found in E-Waste Urbanmining. 2015. Urban Mining, January 5.
  61. UNFC. 2014. Kyoto Protocol. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  62. US EPA, OAR. 2015. International Actions – The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. Reports and Assessments. US EPA, July 31.
  63. ———. U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report: 1990-2014.
  64. Vladimirskiy, Vadim. 2016. 10 Popular Software as a Service (SaaS) Examples – MSP Blog. Nerdio, October 20.
  65. Wein, Rebecca. 2017. What Is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI? Parallels Answers. Parallels Remote Application Server Blog – Application Virtualization, Mobility and VDI. March 30.
  66. What’s Unique about Your Campus? Hofstra University Unigo. 2017. UNIGO.
  67. Williams, Eric. 2004. Energy Intensity of Computer Manufacturing: Hybrid Assessment Combining Process and Economic Input-Output Methods. Environmental Science & Technology 38 (22): 6166–6174. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (Accessed 1 Feb 2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. World Commission on Environment and Development. 1987. Accessed 3 Oct 2017.
  69. Zhou, Kaile, Shanlin Yang, Chao Shen, Shuai Ding, and Chaoping Sun. 2015. Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction of China’s Electric Power Industry. Renewable and Sustainable Reviews Science Direct, May. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Linehan
    • 1
  • Catherine Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Social Impact ExchangeNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Education and Technology Research ServicesHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA

Personalised recommendations