Monday, September 15, 2008

Reducing ICT greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2020

A new draft of my advice for the Australian Environment Department on reducing energy use of PCs and monitors in Australia is available. This recommends a 50% target by 2020, voluntary use of Energy Star by industry and mandatory use by Government, plus web education programs. I have tidied up the format to make it a bit clearer.

Also in writing the answer to an assignment question for my ANU students I found a scheme for web based environmental labels using Microformats. I will include it in the next version of the report.

The purpose of this document is to propose a strategy for the Australian ICT industry, in conjunction with government, to improve the energy efficiency of PCs and Monitors in Australia.

This strategy proposes voluntary use of the US EPA Energy Star program by the Australian ICT industry and web based industry and consumer education programs on energy efficiency. It is proposed that Australian federal and state governments encourage this voluntary program by government purchasing Energy Star products and by government using the web based information in product selection. While the program would be voluntary, those companies which did not offer Energy Star rated products and did not provide details of them on the web would be excluded from government tenders.

It is proposed that industry work with government on consumer and professional education on sustainability, using the Internet as a delivery mechanism. International initiatives on ICT energy efficiency should be encouraged in Australia, along with locally developed programs. A government sponsored free e-learning package for universities and professional bodies to train ICT professionals in sustainability is proposed.

It is proposed that Australia set a target of a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ICT by 2020. This will contribute a 1% overall reduction in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.


  1. Voluntary Energy Star Standard for Industry: Adopt the US Energy Star Program as voluntary standard for efficient PCs and monitors.

  2. Standard Web Format for Environmental Droduct Data: Develop a standard format to display energy efficiency data and other environmental data on the web, suitable for both consumers and corporate users. In Australia. Propose the format as an international standard.

  3. Mandatory Energy Efficiency in Government Procurement: Require Energy Star conformance for federal government procurement and for federally funded programs, such as computers in schools. Use a simplified version of US Government procedures. Require energy efficiency product specifications to be on the web in the standard format.

  4. Promotion and Market Information, Finding Shared Incentives: Promote and support professionals and businesses who promote energy saving to consumers. Invite international consortia to expand their programs to Australia. Provide resources for local branches of consortia to adapt their programs to Australian conditions. Encourage the ICT industry to support local initiatives.

  5. Audit ICT Energy Use Annually: Demonstrate the efficacy of ICT energy saving by regular audits of ICT energy use. Develop an annual ICT energy audit, broadly based on the ACS/Ethan Group 2007 report methodology.

  6. Develop Sustainable ICT E-learning Modules: Sponsor a free e-learning package for universities and professional bodies to train ICT professionals in sustainability. Focus the content on energy efficiency and draw on case studies of real world energy saving projects.

From: Executive Summary, The Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy, Report and Recommended Plan of Action, Tom Worthington, Preliminary Draft 0.2 of 12 September 2008


ninaribena said...

Hi Tom, completely off topic... I dicovered via the Shopping Sherpa that there is in fact a Futuro dome/pod structure located in Dickson. Do you know of anyone with access to the interior of is, as it is of gret interest to "Sherpa' and myself (as writer of Canberra's Got Style" blog. Cheers.

Tom Worthington said...

ninaribena said...

"Hi Tom, completely off topic... Futuro dome Dickson..."

Yes, it used to be part of an observatory.

Tom Worthington said...

See also: "Government Should Adopt US Energy Scheme" by Sue Bushell in CIO magazine, 18 September, 2008 12:39:00

"The federal government should encourage both industry players and consumers to adopt the US EPA Energy Star program in a bid to increase the energy efficiency of personal computers and monitors in use across Australia, according to a new report. ... "

Tom Worthington said...

New draft of "The Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy" 0.3 of 15 September 2008 now available.

Tom Worthington said...

New draft of "The Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy" 0.4 of 19 September 2008 now available.

This has the recommendations reordered and some spelling corrections, but it otherwise unchanged.

I expect this to be close to the final report.