Utilties leads in IT sustainability, says report

The utilties sector is the most likely to have a plan for using IT to improve sustainability and least likely to view it merely as a compliance issue, according to research by Datamonitor and YouGov.

The utilties sector is the most likely to have a plan for using IT to improve sustainability and least likely to view it merely as a compliance issue, according to research by Datamonitor and YouGov.

The research, commissioned by BT, showed 66% of utility companies had plans for using IT to improve their green credentials, followed by 58% in transport, 52% in retail, media and leisure, 51% in the finance and public sectors, and 44% in construction.

Most organisations (90%) said IT was important to reducing their impact on the environment and a third of UK organisations said sustainability would be the biggest single driver of IT investment in the next five years.

However, the research also found that nearly half of respondents said their organisations (41%) had no plans for improvement and one in five said they were not using technology to improve sustainability.

The research report said although most organisations recognised the benefits improving sustainability in terms of profits, customer attitudes and company reputation, 35% considered it purely a "tick-box exercise" to aid regulation compliance.

Neil Hendry, director of consulting at Datamonitor, said the research revealed a positive awareness of flexible working, building services automation, and more efficient supply chain processes enabled by IT.

"The challenge is for organisations to grasp these opportunities and make real changes to the way they do business," he said.

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