Green is back on the IT agenda, at least for the suppliers

A few years ago sustainability was at the top of corporate agendas. Whether this was to improve efficiency or look caring to customers, or both, there was genuine interest.

But the last couple of years has seen green IT take a back seat as survival becomes the most important aim of any company during an economic slowdown.

I spoke to Jeff Chater, head of UK sustainability at Atos Origin, following the company becoming carbon neutral.

This means that Atos Origin offsets the carbon emissions it is responsible for by investing in green projects and buying carbon credits. Chater said it does this voluntarily.

He says the company doesn’t just offset carbon but actually has a global programme to reduce its carbon footprint.

On the customer side Chater said there has also been a change in that it is private sector customers that are making the most noise about sustainability rather than the public sector before. Perhaps the cuts have found a victim in green IT.

He said these private sector customers are today interested in finding out the emissions of their supply chain rather than just trying to reduce their own emissions. So all IT service providers should be ready to show customers what they are doing to minimise emissions.

Logica for example is part of the voluntary Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Businesses report their carbon emissions and receive targets to help them reduce emissions. Logica is also an accredited adviser through the CDP and can support businesses.

And don’t forget Capgemin’s activity in sustainability. I visited its state of the art datacentre in Swindon last year and was impressed. See pictures of the Merlin datacenter in Swindon here and read this Computer Weekly article about it.