Local government IT managers are not doing enough to cut carbon emissions, delegates at the Socitm conference were told last week.
Tim Dawes, managing director of Nineveh Consulting, which specialises in advising the public sector, said that, globally, IT was responsible for 2% of carbon emissions, but IT directors had yet to tackle the issue.
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"We have responded by putting our heads in the sand. An Economist survey showed that 50% of IT departments do not even measure their datacentre energy consumption," he said.
Dawes set out strategies that IT managers could use to help reduce the carbon footprint of their organisation.
"Teleworking is not always beneficial. If one person with an average commute stays at home with the heating on, and the offices are open and heated as well, it adds to emissions. Unless you are making a general move to teleworking and closing offices, do homeworking in the summer and get them in the office in the winter," he said.
Dawes added that most of the emissions from desktops were produced in the manufacturing stage, so changing PCs frequently is bad for the environment.
Laptops are more efficient than PCs, said Dawes. "If you have staff using both, consider just giving them laptops," he said.
Dawes said that IT managers should carry out carbon return on investment assessments of IT projects and set targets to reduce emissions.