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University of York’s IT department scoops national sustainability award

Posted on 15 March 2024

The University of York’s IT Services department has been recognised for its work in promoting sustainable practices.

From left to right; Emma Woodcock, Chair of UCISA, Tyrrell Basson, Director of IT Services, University of York, Sarah Kennedy, Assistant Director of IT (Service, Delivery and Product), University of York, Richard Fuller, Assistant Director of IT (Technology and Cyber), University of York, Deborah Green, CEO, UCISA.

The department picked up the Sustainable Digital Project or Initiative Award at the prestigious Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) awards.

The awards celebrate “innovative activities that provide exceptional value to their institution, while demonstrating a positive environmental sustainability impact for the future”.

High impact

York clinched the award for delivering a number of high impact IT initiatives in support of the institution's ambitious vision to be carbon neutral by 2030.

In October, the University moved their high performance computer facility to EcoDataCenter in Sweden. EcoDataCenter is the world’s first data centre to be made from wood and runs on 100% renewable energy - 75% from hydropower and 25% from wind power.  The centre also utilises excess heat created by the computer clusters to dry wood and create pellets which act as a renewable energy source.


Meanwhile on campus in York, an estimated 22 tonnes of CO2 has been saved by using equipment more efficiently in classrooms and reducing print wastage, and 44 tonnes of IT waste has been prevented from reaching landfills. 

Through auditing on-campus data centres and removing inefficient equipment, the University has also reduced the amount of power used across their main campus data centres by 12.6%. 

Dedicated focus

Tyrrell Basson, Director of IT Services said “I'm extremely proud that the IT Services department has been recognised by this award. It is a testament to years of the hard work and a dedicated focus on sustainability, a joint effort across all of our teams.

"We know IT Services can play a significant role in the University's journey to net zero and energy saving, so it was particularly rewarding to have the judging panel recognise the breadth and innovation of our sustainability work so far.”


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