Green IT officer: a must have position in China

There has been a lot of blog comment about this article in the Economist, which suggests that there are growing numbers of Chinese graduates aspiring to join China’s massive bureaucracy.

As the article says, the pay isn’t great, but is offset by job security and good welfare benefits. The competition, however, is fierce. This year there were 16,000 jobs on offer, one for every 64 test-takers.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that there were nearly 5,000 applications for the most sought-after post, that of “energy conservation and technology equipment officer”. In other words, someone looking after Green IT.

That’s a refreshing outlook. Would that we had the same clamour to do the job here.

That reminded me of a survey which came out a few months ago by the Green IT specialist Externus which revealed that responsibility for implementing green measures in businesses is being taken-on by staff in a variety of different positions.

The majority of the UK professionals surveyed (34%) reported that, in their organisations, directors and senior management were in charge of green initiatives. For other businesses, responsibility was mixed; 13 per cent said that it fell to a dedicated ‘green’ person, while 17 per cent identified the facilities manager. 

Other roles identified as having environmental policy responsibilities included office managers or administrators (6%) and human resources (4%). Eight per cent were unsure whose remit it was and as over ten percent reported that nobody within the organisation held responsibility.

Over half of those surveyed (56%) confirmed that green improvements are on their company agenda

The areas of business which respondents felt most benefited from green improvements included IT (67%), marketing (52%), finance (51%) and human resources (39%)

“The results show clearly that, in most organisations, the desire to make improvements clearly exists,” says Murray Sherwood, Externus’ managing director. “Yet for any changes to be successful, initiatives that can reduce energy waste and enhance green credentials, such as green IT, require commitment from all areas of the business.

“Defining or understanding who in the business holds responsibility is of great importance if sustained green improvements are to be made. A potential reason for the failure of green IT, or indeed any other change management programme, is because of a lack of proper planning at CEO-level or director level. 

“Convincing management about the potential benefits of Green IT is, therefore, even more crucial than changing the mindset of IT staff.”