Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Report on Green IT Attitudes of IT Professionals

"A Preliminary Report on Green IT Attitude and Actions Among Australian IT Professionals" has been published by RMIT University. This finds much the same result as I have had from running green ICT training courses: while IT professionals express concern about environmental issues, they do not necessarily do anything about it. My response to this has been to emphasise the financial benefits to organisations of being green and to the careers of the individuals involved and explain the benefits to the environment as an incidental bonus.
This paper provides a preliminary analysis on Green IT awareness among Australian IT professionals based on a survey of 322 members of The Australian Computer Society. Overall, the study indicates that there is a discrepancy between IT professionals’ awareness and concern for Green IT and the actions that they and their organisations have actually taken. Specifically,

• The study shows that most IT professionals are concerned about climate change and recognise the dual role of IT in causing and resolving environmental sustainability problems.
• More than 70% of all respondents believe that they can play significant roles in leading Green IT changes. An equal percentage believe that Green IT should be a core part of an organisation’s overall environmental sustainability strategy and IT management should take the responsibility for reducing IT’s environmental footprint
• The study, however, also indicates that while IT professionals are practicing simple behaviours to support Green IT initiatives, more complex behaviours at organisational levels are practiced to a more limited extent.
• Only about 30% of respondents are aware of Australian Computer Society’s policy paper on Green IT.
• IT professionals are either sceptical or unaware of their organisation’s commitment to Green IT.
However, a minority of organisations are taking initial steps in terms of putting green IT on their radar, allocating budget and implementing Green IT projects.
• Despite the initial steps taken by organisations, the enforcement of quick win Green IT practice such as switching off computers when not in use has only been fully implemented in less than one third of cases.
• Respondents’ age, gender, education, occupation and industry differences do not seem to significantly influence the above findings.

From: "A Preliminary Report on Green IT Attitude and Actions Among Australian IT Professionals", Alemayehu Molla, Vanesssa Cooper, Hepu Deng and Stas Lukaitis, Green IT Working Paper Series, Green IT Observatory, RMIT University, ISBN: 978-0-9805851-1-7, 14 May 2009.

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