Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Australian Government Agencies doing okay with Green ICT

The "Green ICT: The State of the Nation" report, released by Fujitsu yesterday, has noted positive results for Australian federal government agencies implementation of sustainability measures to reduce carbon emissions from computers. This was reported by Alison O'Flynn, Head of Sustainability at Fujitsu speaking here at the Sustainability Plus Technology Forum in Sydney this morning. One reason given for the agencies doing well is the effect of the Gershon Report.

The research the report is based on was done in conjunction with Connection Research, in association with the World Wildlife Fund. It follows an earlier report on private sector green ICT strategies which was far less positive: GREEN IT: The Convenient Truth.

Unfortunately, Fujitsu have produced their reports as a large (5.4Mbyte) hard to read and hard to get PDF file. Fujitsu should consider providing their report as a set of small, easy to read, mobile compatible web pages. This would reduce the carbon emissions cause by the report by at least 90%. For those who do not want to cause excessive greenhouse gas emissions which downloading the full report would cause, here is an excerpt:
The idea of intergenerational responsibility and balancing the three elements of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) present both challenges and opportunities for the way we live today. With rapid population growth and the
increasing impact of climate change, we need to act now.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the ICT sector as a proportion of global total emissions are forecast to increase from 2% in 2009 to 6% by 2020. Over the
same period the number of personal computers is expected to more than treble, from 1.2 billion to 4 billion. The ICT industry has an important leadership role to play - both in mitigating its own impacts and in exploiting its technology to enable emissions reductions in many other industries and business processes.

The Gershon Report recommended the Australian Government develop a Whole of Government Sustainability ICT Plan1 to manage and reduce the environmental impact of the government’s ICT activities. This plan, developed by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) in conjunction with the Department of Finance and Deregulation, is effective from early

In late 2008 Fujitsu Australia conducted research to understand how ICT departments in the Australian private sector were responding to the emerging carbon priced economy. Fujitsu Australia published these findings in a report titled Green IT: The
Convenient Truth 2.

In September 2009 Fujitsu Australia commissioned further research to understand how Australian Government agencies are preparing for the emerging sustainable ICT aspirations and goals being set by the Australian Government.

The research found that Australian Government ICT managers are personally more concerned about climate change than the Australian population generally, and also more concerned than ICT managers in other sectors. In fact, the survey
identified no climate change deniers at all. This may be because of an increased awareness of the issues raised in the Gershon report and the subsequent high profile of sustainability in government generally.

The research clearly shows that Australian Government ICT managers have done far more in the measurement of ICTs power consumption, and in ensuring accountability for Green ICT, than their counterparts in the private sector.

This would indicate Australian Government ICT managers are demonstrating Green ICT leadership, both as a result of their agencies’ overall commitment to a green strategy and because of their awareness of the ICTs important role in reducing overall carbon emissions. ...

From: Green ICT: The State of the Nation, A Report on How Australian Government Agencies are Responding to the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy, Fujitsu, 29 September 2009

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