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2011.11.28 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

Energy Star Names UNO as Top School for IT Sustainability

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) was recently named as one of the top five colleges and universities who have contributed to Energy Star’s Low Carbon IT Power Campaign Power Management Pledge.

The recognition highlights the important advancements made by UNO’s Information Services department, led by UNO Technical Services Manager Andrew Buker and Desktop Manager Seth Korber, towards reducing the university’s environmental impact.

According to Energy Star’s website, the Low Carbon IT Campaign is “a nationwide effort to assist and recognize organizations for reducing the energy consumed by their information technology equipment.” Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, designed to help Americans save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

UNO’s high levels of energy efficiency have been achieved through a number of measures, including a shift to 95 percent server virtualization that allows potentially hundreds of computer terminals to be run through only several central processors. This change has not only resulted in an 80 percent reduction of energy consumption, but has also saved over $1 million in hardware costs.

“It’s a very green approach,” UNO Chief Information Officer John Fiene said.

Currently Mammel Hall, the UNO Math Lab and campus kiosks use virtualized machines, with the soon-to-be-renovated Kayser Hall scheduled to use them as well as other terminals across campus as old units are cycled out. To date, 181 servers have been virtualized across campus.

UNO’s commitment to energy savings and positive environmental impact can also be seen in the university’s GreenUNO sustainability task force, which was created in 2008. In addition to the recent ranking by Energy Star, UNO has initiated several sustainability efforts, including LEED Gold certification for Mammel Hall and the creation of the UNO Bike Share Program.

Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs B.J. Reed said UNO’s ultimate goal is to continually strengthen its conservation efforts through academic programs and a commitment to encourage sustainability across all of UNO’s colleges and departments.

“Sustainability is a primary goal emerging as an academic priority for the UNO campus,” Reed said. “We not only want to make UNO a great environment for today’s students, but the future of future students as well.”

Eventually, Fiene hopes to incorporate virtualization across the entire campus.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

Kwanzaa

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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