Sustainable IT and grants: How to fund green initiatives in the public sector
Unlock grants for a greener tomorrow

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Earth Month encourages organizations of all sizes and industries to look both outward and inward, from examining our natural environment and the future of the planet, to assessing our sustainability practices and impact. A greener tomorrow is within reach, if we grasp the available opportunities, tools, and resources to grow.

Sustainable IT is an integral step in your journey and a top public sector priority for good reason. Sustainable practices drive economic growth by creating new industries and jobs in areas like renewable energy, recycling, and green building. Additionally, many IT-directed sustainable initiatives focused on reducing emissions or improving waste management directly benefit public health. There are also compliance requirements to consider, as many government jurisdictions have laws and regulations in place to ensure public sector organizations’ IT infrastructure operates sustainably.

How can you meet and achieve your IT sustainability goals? And is funding available to make progress and stay in budget? We can help you check off both boxes.

Grants are available to fund green initiatives

Technology investments can be costly yet crucial as the need amplifies for digital transformation and modern sustainable solutions. Successful funding is more attainable than you may think, and you don’t need to navigate grant and funding opportunities alone.

SHI partners with the Grants Office, a full-service provider of grants resources, to offer our Grant Support Program. Our experts work with you to understand your objectives via our complimentary consultative services. Once we’re aligned, we build customized grant opportunity reports to help you find and secure grants for the technology solutions you need to execute your vision.

With your green targets in mind, our specialists have compiled some available grants to consider for your next dream project.

Renew America’s Schools Program

The Renew America’s Schools Program, overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is designed to facilitate the adoption of clean energy improvements in K-12 public schools throughout the nation.

Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the program aims to assist school communities in executing energy upgrades – helping to reduce energy consumption and costs, enhance indoor air quality, and create healthier learning environments. The program also supports district projects to build capacity, conduct energy audits, and plan and implement energy improvement in school facilities.

Applications are open for the next round of funding: the 2024 Renew America School’s Prize. Submissions are due on June 13, 2024 by 5 p.m. EDT.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, also managed by the DOE, supports states, local governments, and Tribes in their efforts to decrease energy use, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and enhance energy efficiency. Among its many eligible uses, the program covers the development and implementation of energy efficiency and conservation strategies, including programs for buildings, facilities, and transportation.

While not an exhaustive list, organizations can utilize funds for many eco-friendly purposes, including:

  • Implementing energy distribution technologies like district heating and cooling systems.
  • Purchasing technologies to reduce, capture, and, to the greatest extent practicable, use methane and other greenhouse gases.
  • Replacing traffic and street lighting with efficient alternatives.
  • Installing onsite renewable energy technology in government buildings.

The EECBG Program Formula Grant Application is open and available for eligible entities until expended. Complete applications are due on April 30, 2024 for local governments and on May 31, 2025 for Tribes.

Rural Energy for America Program: Renewable Energy Systems/Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans and Grants

The Rural Energy for America Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides guaranteed loans and grants for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers and small businesses in rural areas may qualify, including various entities such as electric utilities, Tribal corporations, cooperatives, and for-profit entities.

The program supports the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems like biomass, geothermal, hydropower, hydrogen, wind, solar, and ocean generation. Funds can also be used for energy efficiency improvements including HVAC systems, insulation, lighting, cooling or refrigeration units, doors, windows, and more.

These are a few of the grant opportunities and smart technologies available to you. For instance, there are many auto charging infrastructure grants offered through state and federal grant programs. In January 2024, the Biden-Harris Administration announced $623 million in grants to help build out an electric vehicle (EV) charging network across the U.S. Our Grant Support Program can help you explore and actualize funding opportunities and determine the most beneficial path to realizing your IT goals.

The program application period is open for fiscal year 2024, with upcoming application windows of June 30, 2024 and September 30, 2024.

Reduce your carbon footprint in IT

A step in the right direction can start a forward momentum with a big impact. Technology plays a major role in addressing climate change, from reduced data center emissions and energy usage to responsible e-waste recycling and sustainable business models.

When it comes to your sustainable IT objectives, we can help you drive efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint. Perhaps you want to build a more sustainable data center. Our end-to-end solutions can lower carbon emissions and operational costs, consolidate data center space, and evaluate energy use with expert analysis. We identify custom projects like BIOS optimization and server consolidation, and our ITAM assessments include Scope 2 and 3 emissions reports for legislative compliance.

If you have plans to migrate and optimize your workloads in the cloud, our green cloud computing solutions can meet green regulations, modernize IT infrastructure, and optimize resource use. We also ensure responsible recycling, asset recovery, and redeployment of your aging PCs, laptops, and data center equipment with device lifecycle management. Explore asset disposal services that meet environmental standards, such as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Responsible Recycling (R2), e-Stewards, and ISO 14001, ensuring zero landfill and providing waste reporting. Extend the lifespan of your storage, servers, and networking equipment with extended warranties, and break/fix maximizes the life of your hardware by repairing, restoring, or replacing your devices.

And with SHI Capital financing available for technology acquisition and leasing hardware solutions, you can tackle your sustainability goals and accelerate transformation with flexible, predictable payments. You can also utilize device as a service, a predictable, monthly, per-device cost with managed services, ensuring end-of-life devices are wiped, recycled, or repurposed for further use.

Opportunity awaits

The breadth of sustainability solutions and grant opportunities is vast, and we’ve only listed the start of what is possible.

SHI offers a range of solutions and services to help you achieve your sustainability initiatives. To get started, you can book a one-hour sustainable IT briefing session with our ITAM experts to discuss your goals and objectives, or sign up for a customizable sustainability workshop to progress your organization with a baseline and target goals.

If you’re ready to launch your next green project but need to identify the right federal and state grants, connect with our grants specialists for tailored funding reports, application consultation, and expert guidance. We can also help align your procurement with SHI’s 500+ contract vehicles and cooperatives that have green agendas, have preferred pricing for sustainable technologies, and provide compliance to meet legislative requirements.

For future funding and technology plans, seize the opportunity today. A greener future awaits.

Connect with an SHI expert