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Electronic Stewardship and Data Centers

As outlined in Executive Order (EO) 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade; the goal of electronic stewardship is to decrease the amount of energy consumed from electronic devices. It is managed by promoting electronics stewardship that involves establishing, measuring, and reporting. This includes the following:

  • Ensuring procurement preference for environmentally sustainable electronic products.
  • Establishing and implementing policies to enable power management, duplex printing, and other energy-efficient or environmentally sustainable features on all eligible agency electronic products.
  • Employing environmentally sound practices with respect to the disposition of all excess or surplus electronic products.

To demonstrate progress in electronic stewardship, data centers, and overall sustainability, NIH publishes an annual Sustainability Implementation Plan (SIP) and reports progress to their parent government agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS adheres to the requirements in Section 14 of EO 13693 and publishes an annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan to demonstrate overall progress.

Electronic Stewardship Goals

E.O. 13514 and E.O. 13693 Section 3(l) requires that promotion of electronic stewardship, including procurement preference for environmentally sustainable electronic products; establishing and implementing policies to enable power management, duplex printing, and other energy efficient or environmentally sustainable features on all eligible electronic products; and employing environmentally sound practices with respect to the disposition of all excess or surplus electronic products.

NIH Progress in Meeting Electronics Stewardship Goals

Procurement Goal:

At least 95% of monitors, PCs, and laptops acquired meets environmentally sustainable electronics criteria (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registered).

Power Management Goal:

100% of computers, laptops, and monitors have power management features enabled.

NIH Progress:

93.9% of equipment has power management enabled (some scientific computers not enabled). 4% of equipment has been exempted (scientific equipment and hospital/patient care systems that cannot be powered down).

End-of-Life Goal:

100% of electronics disposed of using environmentally sound methods, including GSA Xcess, Computers for Learning, Unicor, U.S. Postal Service Blue Earth Recycling Program, or Certified Recycler (R2 or E-Stewards).

NIH FY 2015 Progress:

100%

Data Center Efficiency Goal

E.O. 13693 Section 3(a) states that data center efficiency at agency facilities must improve, and requires establishing a power usage effectiveness target in the range of 1.2-1.4 for new data centers and less than 1.5 for existing data centers.

Electronic Stewardship & Data Centers at NIH

Since the first closing of a data center in 2011, NIH has closed 20% (8 out of 41) of tiered data centers, and 60% (41 out of 68) of non-tiered data centers.   Among the remaining data centers, 5 are in the process of closing in 2016 and 2017, and 5 more are being evaluated for closing. NIH will monitor data center power efficiency and identify actionable steps to reach the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) goal of 1.5 for existing tiered data center by September 30, 2018.

​​​Click here to view the 2016 NIH Sustainability Implementation Plan

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