Greening ICT

SURF promotes sustainability in education and research. Sustainability is also an integral part of our activities and services. The main goal of this innovation project is the 'greening' of ICT. We do this for and together with our members but also for our own services.

Sustainable innovation

Socially responsible purchasing of ICT
The greening of ICT begins with the purchasing of ICT products and services. That is why SURF focuses on stimulating socially responsible purchasing of ICT.

The following activities will be carried out within the project:

  • Identify standards, values and criteria that can be included in the purchasing and tendering processes
  • Establish a guideline and product specifications for the sustainable purchasing of ICT hardware
  • Develop pilot projects, use cases and good practices
  • Identify instruments to gauge the number of sustainable purchases and the compliance to sustainability agreements made with suppliers.

Smart sharing
Lowering the energy use and CO2 emissions can be given an enormous boost by sharing e-infrastructure. In 2017, we will build on the experiences of the national government, which consolidated 64 data centres into 4. Specifically, we will:

  • Identify possibilities and opportunities for the education and research sector as based on these experiences
  • Stimulate sustainability aspects of the shared e-infrastructure and federal infrastructures via pilots and use cases.

Please also read: the Duurzaam in de e-infrastructuur (Sustainability in the e-infrastructure) report (in Dutch).

We will research relevant market parties in the area of e-waste, develop a check-list with criteria to make sure we dispose of ICT hardware in the most sustainable and circular fashion, and will work on more sustainable e-waste practices via pilots.

We will also research the viability of an e-waste market place - a platform that will bring together supply and demand (in collaboration with SURF members and market parties).

In March 2017, the E-waste in het hoger onderwijs: zijn instellingen wel 'in control'? report was published that shows how higher education institutions deal with their e-waste (in Dutch).

Future-proof research and the education sector
SURF is working on a new, integrated and future-proof vision and approach. As a first step, in 2017, a SURF-wide corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy will be implemented.

Making our organisation and provision of services sustainable

In 2017, we will take the first steps towards having a CO2-neutral provision of services. We will develop a road map for this. We will make the energy use of our ICT infrastructure in the SURFsara data centre transparent and will identify KPIs to evaluate and ultimately improve the energy efficiency.

In addition, we also wish to make our own organisation and office environment more sustainable. We will establish the CO2 footprint for this and make plans to reduce it further.

Knowledge sharing and community

We will organise various events for the exchange of knowledge, such as the National Day of Sustainability in the higher education sector (NDDHO) and SURFacademy-bijeenkomsten-gatherings about a specific subject.

SURF supports the Special Interest Group (SIG) Groene ICT en Duurzaamheid (Green IT and Sustainability) in sharing knowledge, information and good practices to stimulate the greening of and with ICT in education, research and business operations.

Start date
01 Jan 2015
Computing and Data Infrastructures
Latest modifications 13 Jun 2018