BCS IT Industry Awards: Meeting the green agenda

Fivium collected the BP Environment Award for Spire, its UK export licensing system, which was developed to enable the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to process export licence applications more efficiently.

The green agenda for the IT industry has never been more topical. The BCS has launched, through its Carbon Footprint group, several initiatives to stimulate discussion and action on the topic.

Work includes a white paper on datacentre efficiency, the development of a datacentre metrics simulation tool, and the Carbon Intent project by the Communications Management Association.

David Clarke, BCS chief executive, explains, "The IT sector's carbon footprint urgently needs to be addressed. We hope that by promoting professional standards in this area, it will encourage more IT organisations to adopt best practice.

"The winners of these two awards are part of this drive. They demonstrate that taking the environmental impact of business processes into consideration can provide real benefits and results in terms of an organisation's bottom line."

BP Environment Award

Fivium collected the BP Environment Award for Spire, its UK export licensing system, which was developed to enable the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to process export licence applications more efficiently.

The technology has transformed a complex paper-based manual process with multiple systems into a single, centralised, highly secure, paperless web application.

The system, which was launched on time and to budget, has provided several environmental benefits, including a reduction in paper consumption of up to 95% in the first year, equating to three million pages, or 15 tonnes of paper.

The organisation has also reduced its carbon footprint and energy costs by removing the need for couriers to transport licence information between government departments across the UK. In addition, the organisation has gained greater efficiency, flexibility and the ability to monitor the progress of applications easily.

Clarke says, "This is a near perfect example of a business-driven IT project that clearly delivers in all areas. It demonstrates passionate and competent delivery from a small organisation, which surely has a bright future."

Medallists in this category were Zogix for the Carbon Management Platform and Memset for the Memset Miniserver Virtual Machines.

Green Organisation of the Year

The Green Organisation of the Year Award was won by gm2 Logistics. This specialist logistics operation, owned by the James McNaughton Group and Premier Paper Group, was created to handle logistics for the two companies. Every working day the gm2 team delivers 600 tonnes of paper, board and display products to 1,350 customers.

Award judge Bob Harvey, chair of the BCS Carbon Footprint group, says, "The green aspirations shown by gm2 Logistics are embedded throughout the company. It is a trend-setter for its industry."

The implementation of several systems, ­including an environmentally friendly storage infrastructure, has helped the company to increase resource utilisation, decrease the need for new equipment and minimise the costs associated with powering, cooling and housing equipment. As a result, gm2 has cut its datacentre footprint by a third.

An additional benefit of the new storage has been a greater degree of flexibility within gm2's IT infrastructure, inspiring a more agile way of working throughout the company.

Transport scheduling software has enabled the firm to remove 36 vehicles from its fleet, cut CO2 emissions by 975 tonnes a year, and reduced its annual road usage by 1,036,800 miles. The company plans to introduce electric vehicles in the near future.

Additional initiatives include the production of an energy efficiency survey in conjunction with the Carbon Trust, and the conversion of the company's electricity supply for its UK sites to 100% green energy from renewable resources.

Senior executives have specific green IT discussion points on a monthly basis to report on the effectiveness of existing programmes and generate ideas to keep carbon reduction initiatives at the heart of the company's commercial strategy.

Medallists in this category were IBM and BT.

Photos from the awards ceremony

Photos of the BCS IT Awards 2008 winners (part 1) >>

Photos of the BCS IT Awards 2008 winners (part 2) >>

Photos of IT folk enjoying themselves at the BCS awards dinner >>

Profiles of award winners

BT Flagship Award for Innovation winner >>

Individual Excellence Award winners >>

Organisational Excellence Award winners >>

Project Excellence Award winners >>

More information about the BCS IT Industry Awards can be found on the BCS awards website.

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