Germany beats UK on green playing field

Big UK businessesare ahead of the rest of Europe when it comes to introducing environmentally friendly strategies, but are trailing...

Big UK businessesare ahead of the rest of Europe when it comes to introducing environmentally friendly strategies, but are trailing behind their German counterparts.

Almost half of UK businesses interviewed for IDC's Dell-sponsored Green IT Project Barometer, have corporate green strategies and 60% of these include IT.

In a survey of 459 businesses with more than 1000 employees across Europe 46% of UK firms said they had a green strategy compared to 51% of German firms and an average across Europe of 35%. Another 29% of UK companies plan to introduce such a strategy.

Nathaniel Martinez, analyst at IDC, said that all companies are under pressure to cut costs because of the economic slowdown.Managing outdated datacentres with power-hungry servers is putting the greenIT agenda in the boardroom.

He said many datacentres were built before technologies such as blade servers and multi-core chips came on the scene. As a result they are inefficient when dealing with the higher levels of computing power.

"Spending on servers is flat but the cost of running and managing them is rising fast. About 80% of the spending is on powering and cooling servers," added Martinez

But according to the study cost is not the main driving force for the take up of more environmentally friendly IT equipment. Regulatory compliance is the main driving force, marginally, with over 75% of the surveyed group seeing it as an important influence compared to just under 75% citing cost reduction as important.

But the report said introducing green strategies is easier said than done. A total of 42% said there is a lack of industry guidance, 34% said the metrics used to measure the green IT impact are not sufficient and 60% said there are nocorporate incentives.

Martinez said although some organisations might scale back their green IT initiatives in the face of recession, detailed return on investment studies will help them justify investments.

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