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When choosing technology, what does a university look for? Financial woes and budget cuts may have put paid to many upgrade and refit plans, but when equip-

ment needs to be replaced, is cost now the only consid- eration – or is there still a place for being green? If we cast our minds back to happier times before the

budget cuts, the outlook was very different compared to the situation today. Spending money was one identify- ing feature, not cutting back, as was the drive to be en- vironmentally friendly. Going green was seen as some- thing that could be prioritised and pushed through by central and local government. Everyone from lecturers and students right through to the top civil servants and politicians still recognise the importance of sticking to environmental targets. Climate change was, and still is, seen as one of the world’s most pressing problems – and it doesn’t let up during a financial crisis.

SMALLER BUDGET, BIGGER CARBON FOOTPRINT? With the recession came a change in priorities for the private sector, and now the budget cuts are forc- ing the higher education sector to think in the same way. Although universities are less susceptible to government funding cuts than other education in- stitutions, money is still in shorter supply and dif- ficult decisions will need to be made. Being green has understandably become less important and the imperative to save money has taken over. This isn’t to say that sustainability targets and green initiatives have suddenly disappeared overnight – they’re still in operation, and reducing our collective effect on the environment is still vital – but there’s a subtle shift in balance. When choosing a new product pre- 2011, sustainability may have been one of the main concerns, but do price and total cost of ownership (TCO) now take ultimate precedence? Well, yes they do. When money is scarce, budget-

ary issues naturally rise above environmental con- cerns, although only a small minority will abandon their greener goals entirely. The majority simply refo- cus their targets and corporate values. Luckily, tech- nology has now advanced to a level that doesn’t force buyers to compromise on value or sustainability. In fact, being green and saving money go hand-in-hand: keeping power consumption down saves on electrici-

ty bills. For example, Casio projectors are packed with technology designed to keep power consumption to a minimum, in particular the industry-leading, lamp- free laser and LED hybrid light source technology. The extended life of the lamp-free Laser and LED light source means that no replacement lamps are re- quired, reducing consumption, cost and the resultant burden on the environment.

TECHNOLOGY THAT CHANGES THE FOCUS Casio’s Hybrid Laser and LED projectors have shaken up the existing projector market, provid- ing a light source that doesn’t need costly replace- ment lamps every 18 months. This makes it bud- get-friendly and better for the environment: unlike almost all other projector light sources, Casio’s tech- nology is mercury-free. Although a naturally occur- ring metal, mercury is harmful to the environment and humans when found in high concentrations. Its use in manufacturing and both consumer and com- mercial products increases the likelihood of it find- ing its way into the natural environment through unregulated disposal. As well as projector lamps, mercury is used heavily in the production of ther- mometers, some types of paper making and plastics

Colleges and universities often require larger and brighter projectors to fill large lecture theatres

production. There have been considerable efforts, most notably by the United Nations, to reduce the use of mercury in production lines across the world.

BRIGHTER THINKING FOR THE FUTURE The ICT for education industry can be roughly divided into two sectors: primary and secondary schools, and further and higher education. The needs of these two markets are different (although they often overlap). Primary and secondary schools need smaller, more compact projectors that come in at a more cost-effective price point, while colleges and universities often require larger and brighter projec- tors to fill large lecture theatres. Intelligent brightness control, as featured on Casio projectors, monitors ambient light levels and adjusts the projector’s out- put accordingly, helping to keep power consumption at a nominal level and making things a little more comfortable for the viewers. At the brightest outputs, some models use just 190 watts, but this can be cut further to 150 watts in the power saving eco-mode. In standby, Casio projectors use just 0.4 watts – less than standby mode on an average television. Connectivity is becoming increasingly impor-

tant for saving money and saving the environment: want to make sure a projector isn’t left on overnight? Modern projectors also feature some very clever re- mote management functions to help you keep the equipment under control. In the times ahead, it will become clear that reduc-

ing total cost of ownership and caring for the natu- ral environment are not mutually exclusive. Finding technology that balances performance, lifetime cost and sustainability is not impossible – Casio has proved that it can be done with projectors, and manufacturers of other ICT products are demonstrating that being green needn’t be relegated to an afterthought even when budgets are being squeezed like never before.●

For more information contact Casio on or 020 8450 9131. 69 12/9/11 19:19:57

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