Goverment IT failing on green initiatives, Socitm says

Local government IT managers are not doing enough to cut carbon emissions, delegates at the Socitm conference were told yesterday (Tuesday 17 October).

Local government IT managers are not doing enough to cut carbon emissions, delegates at the Socitm conference were told yesterday (Tuesday 17 October).

Tim Dawes, managing director of Nineveh Consulting, which specialises in advising the public sector said, that globally, IT is responsible for 2% of carbon emissions - the same amount as the aviation industry, but IT professionals had yet to tackle the issue.

"We have responded by putting our heads in the sand. An Economist survey showed that half of IT departments do not even measure their datacentre energy consumption," he said.

Dawes set out a raft of measures that IT managers can put into place which could help IT managers reduce the carbon footprint in other areas of the council.

"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 home working in the summer and get them in the office in the winter," he said.

Dawes said most of the emissions from desktops are produced in the manufacturing stage, so changing PCs frequently is bad for the environment.

Laptops are more efficient than PCs, he said. "If you have staff using both, consider just giving them laptops," he said.

What IT managers can do:

- Carry out carbon RoI assessments of IT projects

- Set targets to reduce emissions

- Campaign to get people to switch off their equipment at the end of the day

- Using energy consumption as a criteria in procurement decisions

- Monitoring power consumption of the datacentre

- Consider teleworking

- Virtualisation

- Reduce work-related travel.




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