As well as its many other benefits over printed signs, digital signage can be more environmentally friendly too. It cuts out printing, paper usage and reduces your deliveries. However, everything has a carbon footprint and digital signage means using displays that consume energy. How can you make sure your digital signage is as green as it can be? In this series of articles, we look at the things to consider when you’re doing an environmental audit, from your hardware and software to your data storage. Here we look at software and solutions.
Choosing a green CMS
After displays, the next part of your digital signage set up to think about is your digital signage content management system (CMS). There are a few things to consider here: the player that the CMS is compatible with, any features included to help you save energy, and data storage, that is, what data centre provider the company works with and the environmental policies of that data centre.
All digital signage content management systems need a player, it’s the piece of the solution that connects to your display and delivers the content to it, the ‘brains’ of the solution. This could be a separate bit of hardware or a player that’s integrated into the display itself – check what the solution is compatible with. If it’s a separate player, the same considerations apply as when looking at screens.
- How much energy does the player use?
- Where is it manufactured?
- Are the manufacturer’s factory conditions ethical?
One of the most energy efficient players – and one of the options with Cenareo – is the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized nano-computer. The Pi was developed in the UK by a not-for-profit company and is manufactured in the UK, China and Japan. A Pi customised to run digital signage has low power consumption of 3.5W, about ten times less than a standard signage player.
At Cenareo, our solution is compatible with Android, Windows, Raspberry Pi and displays from Samsung, Sharp, NEC and all the high-quality providers. The integration with displays from these major brands means that if you choose one of their smart screens then there is no need for an external player at all – removing that extra piece of kit and simplifying installation.
Energy saving features
The greatest difference you can make to reduce the energy that your digital signage system uses day to day is to make sure that your displays are not on when they don’t need to be. Look for CMS software that includes the ability to centrally control and automate power on and off across your fleet of screens, making it easy to turn them off remotely overnight and whenever your business is closed. Much easier than getting people to turn them all off manually every evening, especially if you’re running digital signage across different locations.
Greener data storage
The carbon footprint of digital data is often forgotten when you’re looking at ways to be more environmentally friendly. However, the huge growth in the amount of data we create has led to an increase in on-premise storage – so more electrical equipment and more air conditioning – and more cloud storage at data centres; enormous physical buildings that use huge amounts of energy and resources.
Things you can do to reduce your data footprint include being more efficient with your data – especially if you keep it on servers on-site – and moving to cloud storage with a company that uses a green data centre. For example, Microsoft is on track to achieve its ambition of powering its data centres with 100 percent renewable energy.
With your digital signage campaigns, which will include large image and video files, delete old campaigns that you no longer need to reduce your storage requirements, and ask your cloud storage provider about the sustainability policies of the data centres they use.
In the previous article we looked at the environmental impact of your signage displays, if you started with this article, make sure to check that out to.
Cenareo offers you an intuitive, scalable SaaS solution perfectly adapted to the needs of communication professionals. Whether you’re looking for software only or a complete solution, we’re here to offer advice. Do not hesitate to get in touch !