Monday, September 14, 2009

Whole-of-Government ICT Sustainability Plan

A Whole-of-Government ICT Sustainability Plan Discussion Paper was released by the Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) on 8 September 2009.Some excerpts from the plan are appended. The paper is a 450 kbyte PDF document (45 pages) and is available for comment until 30 September, with a final plan due by the end of December.

The plan is a response to the 2008 review of government computing by Sir Peter Gershon. It concentrates on managing energy use and the carbon footprint of government computing and telecommunications. Several of my Green ICT Strategies students at the ACS and ANU have done the strategies for their departments as course assignments. One simple way DEWHA could advance a whole of government strategy would be to pay for agency staff to enrol in such courses. If ten students enrolled, a government only class could be created and the students discuss internal issues freely.

Some comments on the plan

The plan suffers from being a large and complex document, making it difficult to find, read and use. The document contains a copyright notice discouraging its distribution and use. The use of PDF formatting makes the document difficult to read online and encouraging printing, contrary to environmental principles. DEWHA should instead produce a well structured web site, using the web guidelines issued by AGIMO.

The document is written as a traditional bureaucratic report which requires the reader to get past a large amount of introductory material before it gets to the point. Also, because it is written as a printed paper document, not an electronic document, there is extensive duplication of material, such as references to other government reports. This makes the document much harder to read. If written in an easy to read style, with the important points at the beginning and subsidiary material hypertext linked, it would be much easier for busy people to read.

The strategy proposed by DEWHA is essentially to select mandatory eco labels for government procurement. Agencies would be required to conform to existing standards when purchasing equipment. This is a good strategy but requires the selection of standards which are workable. In 2008 DEWHA issued a Request for Tender for Provision of Desktop, LAN, Helpdesk and Midrange Services which included sustainability criteria. Before issuing advice to all agencies about what to do DEWHA should demonstrate it can do sustainable computing itself, by releasing the results of that RFT process.

There is no clear strategy for the reporting and monitoring of performance of government agencies in the plan. It is suggested that this be automated and be done online. That is the energy and materials use of government agencies would be reported direct to the public via the web from internal government systems. This would reduce the manual effort needed in collecting the data and lower the possibility of agencies manipulating the figures to make their agency look better.

Other Government Resources On Green ICT

Excerpts from the Plan

Table of Contents

Discussion questions on priority issues

The questions below are in the order they appear in this discussion paper. The relevant page number and section are shown in brackets after each question.

Criteria for selecting standards and eco-labels

  1. (a) Do you consider the suggested criteria for evaluating environmental standards and eco-labels are appropriate? [p15, section 5.3]

(b) Are there other criteria you would suggest? [p15, section 5.3]

ICT equipment standards and eco-labels

2. (a) What are the self declared or independently certified product eco-labels that manufacturers/suppliers comply with in the Australian ICT market context?

[p17, section 5.4]

(b) Which of these eco-labels apply in particular to desktop equipment life cycle impacts? [p17, section 5.4]

Energy intensity measures

  1. Are there any other energy intensity measures relevant for the Australian Government's ICT operations? [p25, section 6.4]

Using ICT to enable sustainability

  1. What other enabling technologies are available (or emerging) to assist Australian Government agencies toward sustainability? [p28, section 7]

1 Introduction


The 2008 Review of the Australian Government's Use of Information and Communications Technology', highlighted a significant disconnect between the Government's overall sustainability agenda and its ability to manage energy costs and the carbon footprint of its ICT estate.4 The Government responded to the review by initiating the development of a Whole-of-Government ICT Sustainability Plan, which will be undertaken by the Department of the Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts (DEWHA) in consultation with the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance).


It is proposed that the plan will be applicable to Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 agencies. Key elements of the plan will include:

  • mandatory environmental standards for relevant ICT acquisitions;

  • the steps to develop a whole-of-government ICT energy consumption target and associated reporting arrangements;

  • identification of energy intensity measures and possibly targets; and

  • development of ICT energy management plans for large Australian Government agencies.

The development of the plan is expected to be completed by December 2009.


The purpose of the discussion paper is to seek input from industry and other interested parties on the priority issues via the discussion questions posed.

2 Government frameworks, policies and guidelines

The Government has a suite of existing and emerging legislation, policies, guidelines and supporting infrastructure relating to environmental performance, reporting and sustainability that will influence the development of the plan. General policies such as the Greening of Government (2001), Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (2006), e Government (2006) and procurement guidelines are complemented by current and emerging programs, guidelines and checklists focused on the sustainability of ICT in Government.

In addition, relevant international directives, initiatives and practices exist, focused on reducing environmental impacts and improving environmental performance including environmental standards and eco-labelling programs.

Together the national and international frameworks provide an important context for the development of this discussion paper and the Whole-of-Government ICT Sustainability Plan.

For further information on these frameworks, policies and guidelines see Appendix 4, and information on environmental standards and eco-labels can be found in section 5 and Appendix 5 of this discussion paper.

3 What is ICT Sustainability?

The most frequently quoted definition associated with sustainability relates to sustainable development comprising three interdependent elements – economic, social/cultural and environment – which need to be in balance to achieve sustainability. This definition is from the 1987 UN report Our Common Future 5.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet there own needs.

The concept of sustainable development was taken up, and expanded on, by the Australian Government in 1992 during the development of an Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment (IGAE) and the resulting National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (NSESD). The Strategy sets the broad strategic directions and framework for governments. During the development of the NSESD sustainability came to be considered as:

Using, conserving and enhancing the community's resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased.

Since 1992, the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) have been increasingly incorporated into the policies, programs and decision-making of Australian governments and underpin the Government's core piece of environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) 1999 ...

Taking into account the principles of ESD and the Australian Government's aim of continuous improvement, the following definition of ICT sustainability is proposed:

ICT sustainability in Government is the responsible acquisition, installation, use and disposal of information and communications technologies and services so as to utilise resources more effectively, increase productivity and improve efficiency, and reduce the environmental impact of operations.

4 Environmental context of ICT

There have been numerous literature reviews documenting the significant environmental impacts of ICT products and supporting infrastructure. In particular, the desktop platform has been extensively reviewed through life cycle environmental analysis.

One of the primary environmental issues with ICT is the high rate of product turnover due to rapid innovations in technology. This means that ICT products usually become technically redundant before being physically redundant. Without reuse or resource recovery, this high ICT product turnover contributes to a significant waste and pollution issue ...

The materials comprising ICT products are resource intensive where components consist of hazardous, precious and rare metals, as well as containing large volumes of plastics, glasses and other materials (Table 1). It is well known that serious economic and social issues have been encountered in developing nations in the pursuit of rare high-tech metals, such as tantalum – resulting in illegal clearing, harvesting and mining6.

While in operation, ICT products consume significant amounts of energy, which also requires supporting infrastructure to maintain operability – such as large supplementary air conditioner units to cool server rooms and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units to regulate and/or ensure the supply of electricity to ICT equipment.

In contrast to the adverse environmental impacts of ICT, there are significant environmental benefits that can be derived from the effective use of ICT in government operations. These benefits are discussed in further detail in section 7. ...

5 Mandatory standards for ICT acquisitions

The 2008 Review of Australian Government’s use of Information and Communication Technology found that the Australian Government should take a leading role in Green ICT and actively consider environmental factors as part of its ICT purchasing. The review recommended the use of mandatoryenvironmental criteria in evaluating ICT tenders by purchasing officers.8

The Australian Government endorsed the review findings, including the identification of mandatory environmental standards for use in relevant ICT acquisitions.

In the context of this discussion, a mandatory environmental standard refers to the application of an eco-label or criteria in agency procurement processes to achieve a minimum level of environmental performance.

The environmental standards assessed as mandatory will be described in the plan and implemented by Australian Government agencies in their ICT procurement processes. The purpose of selecting mandatory standards for ICT acquisitions is to mitigate and/or minimise significant environmental impacts of ICT and/or significantly improve whole-of-government ICT environmental performance through agency procurement processes.

The use of greener government procurement initiatives can reduce the Government's own environmental impacts and also assist in driving resource efficiency and innovation through the supply chain. The Australian Government can assist this process by generating consistent, large scale demand for environmentally sustainable ICTs, supporting industry development and providing an incentive for manufacturers to develop and produce more ecologically sustainable goods and services.

5.1Process to derive a mandatory standard

The process of selecting mandatory environmental standards will be based on:

  • an analysis of environmental impacts of ICT products (based on the type of impact, refresh rates and consumption of resources); and

  • application of selection criteria to evaluate eco-labels and other environmental standards/criteria for ICT procurement processes ...

5.2 ICT product life cycle impacts

The application of environmental standards enables a rating of environmental performance. This can be on a product life cycle basis, such as using the eco-label EPEAT, or assessed on operational performance, such as ENERGY STAR. The life cycle environmental impacts may include issues such as, resource extraction, manufacturing and production, transport and logistics, product and asset design, use and maintenance, consumption or use, resource recovery and disposal (Figure 3).

ISO 14021 (self-declared) and ISO 14024 (independently certified) eco-labelling standards apply life cycle analysis to assess a product’s environmental performance across a range of areas, such as materials content, design, packaging, energy conservation, product life extension and end-of-life management. Similarly, eco-labels complying with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) standards use life cycle analysis to assess environmental performance. Post verification processes are also used to assess environmental claims. Appendix 5 provides an introduction to some current environmental standards and eco-labels.

It should be noted that environmental impact intensities may vary with the evolution of a product and should be periodically reviewed to determine changes to the level of impact. As such, variations to product design, materials technologies, manufacturing processes, supply and distribution, product use and resource recovery may have an influence on the product’s life cycle environmental impact and whether a product (or category) should be treated as an environmental risk. ...

5.3 Criteria for selecting standards and eco-labels

The following selection criteria are proposed to evaluate environmental standards and eco-labels. The standard or eco-label:

  1. is a reputable standard9, accepted by industry and government

  2. is appropriate for use in Australian Government ICT procurement processes

  3. can be easily applied by agency staff and evaluated during procurement processes

  4. contributes to demonstrated improvement in environmental performance over time

  5. is subject to continuous improvement through research and investment in further standards development (applicable to eco-labels), and

  6. can be applied with minimal or no cost to agencies. ...

5.4 ICT equipment treated with mandatory standards

The Australian Government operates and consumes significant quantities of ICT goods and services, which contributes to cumulative environmental impacts.

An analysis of whole-of government ICT equipment and consumables has revealed that life cycle and waste impacts are the main areas to mitigate or minimise. The analysis has been based on the significance of ICT consumption and equipment refresh rates.

It is intended that the mandatory standards requirement will be applied to the equipment and consumable categories in Table 2. It is expected that the Green ICT Procurement Kit, derived from a further Gershon recommendation, will consider other ICT equipment and consumables.

Table 2: ICT equipment and consumables to treat for significant environmental impacts

Category to treat

Est. Qty

Est. Refresh rates (yrs)

Impact(s) to address

Desktop & laptop computers (units)

350 000


Life cycle

Midrange servers (units)

14 000


Life cycle

Mobile devices



Toner cartridges



Office copy paper (tonnes)

6 500


Life cycle




It is intended that further analysis, monitoring and reporting will be undertaken over the duration of the plan. Additional environmental impacts, risks and benefits (such as Greenpower and Greenhouse friendly offsets) will be considered in life cycle analysis and treated based on the significance criterion. These impacts may include greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, materials, water use, biodiversity, ozone depleting substances, hazardous substances, land use and product disposal. ...

6 ICT energy and carbon management

The 2008 Review of Australian Government’s use of ICT presented a significant disconnect between the Government’s overall sustainability agenda and its ability to understand and manage energy costs and the carbon footprint of its ICT estate.10 The review found that most agencies surveyed were unable to provide meaningful data in regard to energy use and costs.

Similarly, the review indicated that the majority of agencies surveyed did not have an ICT energy management plan in place.

There were additional concerns raised in the review in regard to whole-of-government ICT electricity use and cost. The consumption of ICT electricity increased by 3 per cent between 2006-07 and 2007-08, while electricity costs had increased by 16 per cent for the same period rising to $21 million in 2007-08.

The Australian Government endorsed the review findings and recommendations, including the proposed implementation of an ICT Sustainability Plan and Green ICT Quick Wins as measures to minimise energy consumption and improve carbon performance. The Government noted that the plan will:

  • develop a whole-of-government ICT energy consumption target and reporting arrangements;

  • identify energy intensity measures and/or targets for use by agencies, and

  • require agencies over $20 million ICT spend to develop an ICT energy management plan by March 2010;11

6.1 Policy and reporting framework

The development of the plan will be informed by existing or emerging Australian Government policies and reporting frameworks, including the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO) policy and the Online System for Comprehensive Activity Reporting (OSCAR).

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

The Australian Government is committed to reducing national greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2050. The 2020 emission targets are between 5 to 15 per cent below 2000 levels (4 – 14 per cent below 1990 levels) by 2020, or by 25 per cent in the event of a comprehensive global agreement that could stabilise atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at 450 parts per million CO2-equivalent or lower.12 The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is the main driver of Australia’s greenhouse gas emission mitigation policy.

Stationary energy (eg. electricity and gas consumption) contributes around 50 per cent of Australia’s emissions, and is the largest and fastest growing source of emissions.13 On a consumption level, commercial buildings account for 12-13 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse emissions. Gartner (2007) and both The Climate Group and GeSI (2008) estimate that the ICT sector and ICT products are currently responsible for about 2 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The high rate of growth in ICT penetration and increases in processing power mean that, without mitigation, the harmful contributions of ICT are likely to grow quickly.14

Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy

The 2006 Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO) Policy is the enabling policy to improve energy efficiency in Australian Government operations. The policy is used to progressively improve agency energy performance, through the use of green lease schedules, annual energy intensity reporting, and minimum efficiency requirements.

The policy outlines a series of energy end use categories for energy consumption, such as tenant light and power, computer centres and other buildings. The use of ICT energy is currently reported by agencies into these three categories based on ICT equipment location, however ICT is not separately disclosed under current arrangements.

The EEGO policy is undergoing a mid-term independent review. For further information on EEGO policy – refer to Appendix 1.

Energy and greenhouse reporting

The EEGO policy outlines the requirements for annual energy performance reporting for Australian Government agencies. Agencies are required to submit annual energy and business data to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, through the database OSCAR – refer to Appendix 2. The information is consolidated and reported to Parliament in the report, Energy Use in Australian Government Operations. This report contains information on the following:

  • Trends in energy consumption

  • Trends in greenhouse emissions

  • Energy use and greenhouse emissions

  • Energy use and intensity by agency

  • Energy use by fuel type

  • Greenhouse emissions by source

  • Energy end-use intensity

ICT energy consumption is not reported as a separate item in this report.

Additionally, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 section 516A requires Australian Government agencies to report their environmental performance and contribution to ecologically sustainable development in their annual report. This includes requirements for agencies to report historical and forecast consumption of greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste15.

6.2 Australian Government initiatives

There are a number of Australian Government initiatives underway that are relevant to the discussion of the plan. These include NABERS energy ratings for data centres, minimum energy performance standards, Green ICT Quick Wins and the Data Centres Strategy.

NABERS energy rating for data centres

DEWHA has commissioned the NSW Department of the Environment and Climate Change and Water (DECCW) to undertake a data centre energy efficiency study and subsequently develop a National Built Environment Rating Scheme (NABERS) Energy rating for data centres. This could enable a data centre target to be set and monitored under the EEGO policy.

NABERS Energy assists owners and tenants to reduce energy use, reduce energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions. It benchmarks a building’s greenhouse impact on a scale of zero to five, zero star being the most polluting and five stars the least. Experience shows that by implementing energy efficiency practices many buildings can save 20 to 40 per cent on their energy bills and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.16

It is expected that a Green Lease Schedule (GLS) will be developed for data centres to improve leasing performance.17 Such a schedule could include a targeted NABERS data centre energy rating similar to the 4.5 stars required for new Australian Government office leases over 2000 m2 net lettable area

Minimum Energy Performance Standards

DEWHA is developing minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for ICT equipment in the Australian market. This includes servers, personal computers and monitors. The MEPS are implemented nationally under state and territory law and will be introduced progressively over the next 24 months. The ICT MEPS are expected to be based on a current US EPA energy star rating.

Green ICT Quick Wins

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) Green ICT Quick Wins are a set of immediate measures to address ICT energy performance and management in Australian Government operations. 18

The Green ICT Quick Wins includes an initiative for agencies to measure ICT energy consumption as a high priority option (Box 3). Other Green ICT Quick Wins include:

  • Black screens or static screen savers instead of active screensavers.

  • Automatic shutdown of desktop and laptop fleet after hours – advocating that a desktop workstation power management solution developed by the Department of Defence is freely available to all Australian federal, state and territory government agencies for automatic shutdown of their desktop workstation fleet [Note: automatic PC shutdown solution can add 0.1 to 0.6 stars to a NABERS office energy rating].

  • Encourage tools and practices to help employees reduce the number of printed pages per employee per month.

  • Include green ICT requirements in all agencies ICT RFT documentation:

  • Encourage agencies undertaking a desktop refresh to consider replacing personal computers with more energy efficient alternatives.

  • Encourage agencies undertaking a telephone refresh to consider technologies that optimise energy use efficiency and minimise duplication of handsets per employee.

  • Identify case study examples – thin client and virtualisation.

  • Identify energy efficiency standards.

  • Introduce a carbon calculator for meetings.

The Green ICT Quick Wins measurement initiative describes a process to help agencies establish energy baselines. It also represents an important step to develop a whole-of-government ICT energy consumption baseline and target. ...

Data Centre Strategy

A separate recommendation of the Review of Australian Government’s use of ICT pertains to a whole-of-government data centre strategy. The strategy is under development by AGIMO and will outline data centre requirements over the next 10-15 years. Environmental considerations, such as energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions, are expected to be integrated into the strategy.

AGIMO has established a data centre provider interim panel arrangement for agencies with an urgent and immediate need for data centre facilities to move their data centre ICT systems. The expression of interest process specified environmental sustainability criteria, including energy, greenhouse and water performance as well as requirements for corporate environmental performance.

The Review of Australian Government’s use of ICT recommended the use of independent ICT energy assessments to capture baseline ICT energy consumption for energy intensive data centres and server rooms19.

6.3 Whole-of-Government ICT energy consumption target

There are three primary steps to develop a whole-of-government ICT energy consumption target.

These are:

  1. Establishing a baseline for ICT energy consumption

  2. Forecasting the effect of agency energy savings

  3. Forecasting the effect of external energy demand (eg. business growth) ...

There are additional considerations that will have an impact on establishing an ICT energy consumption target. These are:

  • accuracy of information provided by agencies as noted during the Review of Australian Government’s use of ICT

  • alignment to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and to other Australian Government sustainability initiatives

  • ability to measure, collect and report ICT energy data in agencies

  • agency capacity to improve energy efficiency, and

  • budgetary constraints on agencies.

The whole-of-government ICT energy consumption target will include energy consumed by ICT equipment, as well as power supplies and supplementary Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) supplied to server rooms and data centres.

It is proposed that whole-of-government ICT energy reporting arrangements will use the OSCAR system – refer to Appendix 2.

6.4 ICT energy intensity

As described above, an energy consumption target will be derived for whole-of-government ICT operations. However, there is also a need to compare ICT energy performance across agencies, as well as to assist agencies to improve their own performance over time. Energy intensity measures are tools to deliver this outcome.

An energy intensity measure is a calculation to analyse energy performance using an appropriate business driver – such as reducing energy use per person. The intensity of energy use will vary over time due to changes in business activity and through the introduction of energy efficiency strategies. For instance, the energy intensity measure for office tenant light and power in Australian Government offices is megajoules (MJ) consumed for light and power by the number of persons – giving an energy intensity measure of MJ per person for light and power. The energy intensity target is 7,500 MJ per person by June 2011.20

ICT energy intensity measures

As with commercial buildings, ICT energy use is highly dependant on the level of business activity. The application of ICT energy intensity measures, based on appropriate business drivers of energy consumption, will assist agencies in managing and forecasting increases and decreases in ICT energy use. The areas that impact on ICT energy consumption include business drivers such as, volume of transactions, number and type of database queries, software applications, and number of end users or staff.

For example, the introduction of ICT energy efficiency strategies on the desktop platform, such as PC power management solutions or printer rationalisation, will improve the energy intensity on the desktop platform per end user assuming the number of end users do not change. As such, the energy intensity measurement for desktop energy consumption would be based on an end user – as a driver of energy consumption.

The requirement for energy intensity measures is highlighted in the 2008 Review of Australian Government’s use of ICT,where demand for one agency’s data centre power had grown by 30 per cent compounded annually over the past 5 years.21 The application of an appropriate driver of energy consumption to an energy consumption category will provide a tool for analysing, managing and forecasting ICT energy demands.

The calculation of appropriate ICT energy intensity measures and targets will provide business information for agencies to manage energy consumption variability. The measures and targets may also provide performance reporting information for ICT energy management plans and Green ICT scorecards.22

There are two significant categories of ICT energy consumption in Australian Government operations. These are desktop and data centres/server rooms ...

The details of the known energy intensity measures (including core and optional measures), are listed in Appendix 3.

Principles for selecting an energy intensity measure

To select an energy intensity measure for these two categories, the following principles were adopted. An energy intensity measure should be:

  • an effective tool for monitoring ICT energy consumption;

  • an effective measure of energy performance and benchmarking;

  • understandable, repeatable and easy to interpret; and

  • low cost and low complexity.

Recommended energy intensity measures for agency use

The following energy intensity measures should be used to assist agencies in ICT energy management:

Core Measures

  • Desktop energy per end user – measures desktop energy platform efficiency, which includes desktop and peripherals, and can be benchmarked across Government. 23

  • Power usage effectiveness (PUE) – measures data centre & server room energy efficiency and can be benchmarked across Government.

  • NABERS energy data centre rating – when available – measures midrange and data centre facility energy efficiency and can be benchmarked across Government.

Optional Measures

  • Total ICT energy per end user – optional use for agencies that is a proxy indicator of total workload.

  • Corporate Average Data centre Efficiency (CADE) – optional use for data centre managers to measure and improve internal energy efficiency across all data centres and server rooms.

ICT energy intensity targets will be derived from data collection and analysis from large agency energy management plans as foreshadowed in the review of the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy. 24

6.5 ICT Energy management plans in agencies

The use of energy management plans, along with energy audits, are important steps for agencies seeking to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.25

The Review of Australian Government’s use of ICT recommended that agencies with an annual ICT spend in excess of $20 million develop an ICT energy management plan. The review also recommended that agencies should measure their data centre energy efficiency in terms of power usage effectiveness (PUE) and establish associated energy use targets as a priority. The Australian Government endorsed the recommendation requiring large agencies to implement an energy management plan by March 2010, and for these plans to be reviewed by the Department.

The development of energy management plans enables agencies to manage energy efficiency initiatives and maintain continuous energy improvement. Agencies that have an organisational energy management plan or environmental management plan may elect to integrate the ICT energy planning components into either of these documents. It is proposed that the key elements of an ICT energy management plan should include:

  • independent ICT energy assessments for agency data centres and server rooms, which will include a calculation of PUE or NABERS energy (when available),

  • ICT energy consumption baselines for each ICT equipment category,

  • ICT energy targets to reduce and/or maintain energy use over the planning period,

  • strategies for achieving the stated targets over the planning period, such as implementation of the Green ICT Quick Wins, and

  • a Green ICT Scorecard based on appropriate energy intensity measures and targets.

7 Using ICT to enable sustainability

While ICT can be considered as part of the climate change problem, what is less often acknowledged is that ICT can play a significant role in the solution.

ICT has historically been an enabler, improving business processes and strategies. ICT can also enable improved environmental performance. Examples of enabling technologies that are likely to offer significant environmental benefits to Australian Government operations include:

  • Web-conferencing and webcasting

  • Web 2.0 forms of collaboration – as online collaboration technologies mature, so does the demand for these techniques to be integrated into the organisational workflow. These technologies are particularly appropriate for consultation with the community, industry and with representative groups, reducing the impact of distance and allowing easy participation in discussions.

  • Video-conferencing and telepresence technologies offer opportunities to reduce the high environmental cost of travel (especially individual air travel) to attend meetings by enabling remote collaboration with individuals, governments and organisations.

Some work has been undertaken in the telepresence space, with the Australian Government deploying the Cisco TelePresenceâ„¢ system across more than 20 government offices.26

  • Flexible working practices such as teleworking. Although there is no clear definition of the term27 nor of the boundary between teleworking and ‘taking work home’, there is clear growth in the number of people who do the bulk of their work at home rather than attending the workplace. Work is underway to establish a whole-of-government policy on teleworking, as proposed in the Gershon Review. Teleworking offers not only carbon reduction from averted travel to the workplace, but is also credited with increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, reduced time and costs in service delivery and increased employee motivation and morale.28

There is worldwide evidence of strong growth in demand for telework opportunities.29 Managing and maintaining ICT solutions that support flexible work practices in a secure manner is a challenge to be faced by many agencies in the next few years.

  • Smart metering. There will be a higher reliance on energy measurement due to the focus on carbon reduction. One area in which ICT is expected to feature as an enabling technology is in smarter metering of the energy consumption patterns of ICT equipment.

  • Decentralised production and management. This is the capability to manage production remotely. While not overly appropriate for government, opportunities exist to streamline processes such as production of physical mail articles, pamphlets, etc at dispersed locations to avert transport costs.

To ensure the success of technology improvements to drive environmental performance, there needs to be supporting programs underpinning each implementation and transition. These programs should feature promotion and training, as well as changes to policy and practice. These measures will transform the Australian Government agency culture into understanding the effect of ICT as an enabler of sustainability.

8 Implementation and management

There will be various implementation activities arising from the plan, which will be costed to determine feasibility and value to the Australian Government. A central feature of the plan, however, should be to strengthen whole-of-government and agency environmental management systems.

Central Government Coordination

For the ICT Sustainability Plan to be effective, there should be a level of central coordination (or governance) and communication over the duration of the plan, and the integration of lessons learnt from similar international experiences.

It is important that ICT environmental sustainability objectives, as noted in the plan, are integrated into major ICT projects, policy decisions and other infrastructure projects across government and the community. For instance, environmental sustainability considerations for ICT are being proposed in the Department of Finance and Deregulation Gateway Review process and guidance materials. Similarly, the Government’s proposed Data Centre Strategy will have a focus on environmental sustainability, and the Green ICT Quick Wins should be reviewed periodically to capture new green technologies and process improvements.

Furthermore, improvements to central ICT procurement processes will be investigated in order to assist agency compliance with the proposed mandatory environmental standards for ICT acquisitions and take-up of the Green ICT Procurement Kit. Accordingly, central government ICT procurement documents, such as GITC4 and SourceIT, should include environmental sustainability provisions to make implementation easy for agencies.

Additionally, consideration will be given to central coordination of agency training, as well as central monitoring and reporting to determine the effectiveness of the plan.

Agency Management Systems

The success of the plan will be defined by an agency’s ability to integrate ICT sustainability activities into governance frameworks, management systems and organisational knowledge.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) recommended that agencies strengthen their environmental management systems to drive continuous environmental improvement.30 This means integrating environmental sustainability considerations into Chief Executive Instructions, policies, procedures, organisational goals, business plans, tender and sourcing documents, management performance indicators, awareness and education programs. Agencies will be encouraged to improve these corporate processes as a means to drive ICT sustainability throughout the organisation ...

Appendix 2 OSCAR Overview

Agencies are required to enter and submit data by 31 October each year, using the Online System for Comprehensive Activity Reporting (OSCAR). OSCAR, now administered by the Department of Climate Change, was introduced on 31 July 2007 and replaces the previous Energy Data Gathering and Reporting system (EDGAR).

OSCAR provides a central location for entering all energy use data relevant to individual agencies and for purposes of reporting. It structures energy consumption data, according to the structure of individual agencies, contained within government portfolios.

OSCAR enables all Australian Government agencies to report their consumption into a variety of end–use categories outlined within the EEGO policy (Table 1). This manner of reporting allows the partition of the varied fuel types and activities carried out, by otherwise unrelated agencies, in order to create synergies based on basic units of measurement. ...

APPENDIX 4 Government frameworks, policies and guidelines

Australian Government

Environmental Governance and Reporting

Greening of Government Policy (DEWHA 2001)

Secretaries and agency Chief Executives were encouraged to implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) by December 2002 so as to improve environmental performance, monitoring and reporting.

E-government Strategy Responsive Governance: A New Service Agenda (AGIMO 2006)

The 2006 e-Government Strategy, Responsive Government: A New Service Agenda considers the Government’s progress towards the vision of a connected and responsive government by 2010, since the release of the 2002 e government strategy Better Services, Better Government.

The strategy proposes applying ICT as an enabler to reform and improve government processes so as to provide better service delivery, achieve value for money, reduce environmental impacts and enhance public sector capabilities.

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

The EPBC Act is the Australian Government's central piece of environmental legislation. Australian Government departments and agencies have an obligation under Section 516A to report on their environmental performance as part of their Annual Reports, including environmental impacts and progress toward ecologically sustainable development.

Environmental Procurement

Australian and New Zealand Government Framework for Sustainable Procurement
Australian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC 2007)

The APCC sustainable procurement framework incorporates the three elements of sustainability (social, economic, environmental) into one document and supports a consistent approach to sustainable procurement for governments. The framework lists four procurement principles around strategies to avoid unnecessary consumption; whole of life cycle product and service selection; fostering a viable Australian and New Zealand market for sustainable products and services; supporting suppliers to government who are socially responsible and adopt ethical practices. The principles are supported by a series of implementation activities that can be uses by agencies to develop sustainable procurement strategies, policies, guidance material, training and tools.

Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (Finance 2008)

The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (CPGs) establish the core procurement policy framework and articulate the Government's expectations of all departments and agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) when performing duties in relation to procurement. The CPGs establish the framework and agencies develop their own specific procurement practices and require that the value for money of a good or service be considered on a basis of whole-of-life costing.

Environmental Purchasing Guide and Checklists (DEWHA)

The Environmental Purchasing Guide (EPG) and Checklists have been developed to guide Government agencies regarding the consideration of relevant energy and environmental issues in procurement decision-making. The checklists cover the procurement of a range of key goods and services and each checklist identifies key environmental performance criteria and provides model tender specifications.

Managing the environmental impact of ICT: Better Practice Checklist (AGIMO 2007)

A document developed to assist staff in government agencies to manage the environmental impact of ICT products and services through a Better Practice Checklist with links to all other environmental purchasing policies and documents, including DEWHA checklists and guidelines.

The ANAO Green Office Procurement & Sustainable Office Management Report 2008 and the ANAO Review of Green Office Procurement Audit Report 2005-2006

The objective of the 2005-2006 across-agency audit was to report on the progress being made by agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and entities subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997(CAC Act) in realising value for money from the procurement process. The focus was on buildings, services and products using whole of life cycle assessments, and on the management of environmental impacts in specifications and contracts.

Theobjective ofthe 2008-2009 audit was toreport onagency progress inachieving betterpractice ingreen office procurement and sustainable office management against the 2005 06 report’s recommendations. Sixty three FMA Act/CAC Act agencies were included in the audit survey. The audit also cited best practice examples of sustainability in government and made further recommendations for agencies, some specific to ICT sustainability.

Green Marketing and the Trade Practice Act Guide (ACCC 2008)

The Trade Practices Act 1974 aims to enhance the welfare of Australians by promoting competition and fair trading and providing for consumer protection. There are two main provisions in the Act affecting environmental claims - the first relates to misleading or deceptive conduct, and the second to false or misleading representations about specific aspects of goods and services. The purpose of the Green Marketing and the Trade Practice Act Guide published by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is to educate businesses about their obligations under the Trade Practices Act 1974 by assisting manufacturers, suppliers, advertisers and others to assess the strength of environmental claims they make and to improve the accuracy and usefulness of their labelling, packaging and advertising to consumers.

Energy and Greenhouse

Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy (DEWHA 2006)

The policy sets the strategy for Australian Government agencies to achieve revised energy intensity portfolio targets by the 2011-2012 financial year. It aims to reduce the whole of life cost and environmental impact of Government operations through improved energy efficiency.

The policy has three major elements:

  • Annual reporting of energy performance by agencies (via the Energy Use in the Australian Government’s Operations reports);

  • Portfolio energy intensity targets by 2011-2012 financial year of 7,500 Megajoules (MJ)/person/annum for office tenant light & power; and 400 MJ/m2/annum for office central services 2011; and

  • Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for office buildings, appliances, vehicles, etc to encourage agencies to progressively improve their energy performance.

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (DCC 2009) and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act)

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) legislative package is currently being debated after being introduced into the Parliament by Government on Thursday 14 May 2009, with a proposed start date of July 2011. At this stage the CPRS outlines the Australian Government strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions by 60% of 2000 levels by 2050 and the Government has also committed to reduce emissions between 5 to 25% of 2000 levels by 2020 which will be in the context of the next global agreement scheduled to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009. Overall responsibility for the scheme lies with the Department of Climate Change. The scheme is underpinned by the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007.

The NGER Act introduces a single national reporting framework for the reporting and dissemination of information about the greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gas projects and energy use and production for corporations above identified thresholds. Australian governments have agreed to a consistent reporting approach as per the NGER Streamlining Protocol. The NGER Act, the Protocol and the online reporting system OSCAR (see below) are the three integral components of the NGER System.

Senate Standing Committee Report on Annual Reports 2008

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Administration’s first 2008 report on Annual Reports cites best practice examples of agency ESD annual reporting and also outlines requirements for agencies to report historical and forecast consumption of greenhouse, energy, water and waste.


National Packaging Covenant (DEWHA 1999, 2005)

The National Packaging Covenant (NPC) is an established framework designed to minimise the environmental impacts arising from the disposal of used packaging, conserve resources through better design and production processes and facilitate the re-use and recycling of used packaging materials. It uses life cycle management of consumer packaging and paper products. The NPC has a regulatory underpinning through the National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs).

National Waste Policy (DEWHA 2009)

A national scheme that has the potential to manage the recovery and recycling of end-of-life TVs and computers in Australia. The Environmental Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC), through DEWHA, released a consultation paper - A National Waste Policy: Managing Waste to 2020 - for public review and comment early in 2009 and 143 submissions were received.

Following on from the consultation paper the Draft National Waste Policy Framework – less waste more resources has been developed and released for general consultation and feedback by the end of July 2009. The Framework includes aims, a vision, principles, seven themes and key directions. It is a subset of the National Waste Policy which will also include background information, set out strategies and actions to effect improvements under the key directions and assign timelines and responsibilities. A final decision will made by the EPHC at its meeting in November 2009.

Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989

The object of this Act is to regulate the export, import and transit of hazardous waste to ensure that exported, imported or transited waste is managed in an environmentally sound manner so that human beings and the environment, both within and outside Australia, are protected from the harmful effects of the waste. This is the national response under the international Basel Convention.

Supporting Infrastructure and Tools

Online System for Comprehensive Activity Reporting (OSCAR)

OSCAR is an online data collection tool for the recording of energy, waste and greenhouse data for Government departments and agencies (a requirement under EEGO) and for corporation (under the NGER Act).

Agencies are required to enter data each year using OSCAR which is administered by the Department of Climate Change. OSCAR enables all Australian Government agencies to report their consumption into a variety of end–use categories outlined within the EEGO policy. This manner of reporting allows the partition of the varied fuel types and activities carried out, by otherwise unrelated agencies, in order to create synergies based on basic units of measurement. OSCAR also performs data validation and identifies ‘anomalies’ from the previous year.

SourceIT Model Contracts, GITC4 Contracts and Request for Tender (RFT)

The SourceIT model contracts have been developed in response to a growing need among agencies for clear and objective information about ICT sourcing and contracting issues. The model contracts provide templates for Australian Government agencies to develop sound commercial agreements for a range of simple ICT procurements. The aim is to encourage good business practice and minimise the risk of conflict and disagreements between agencies and suppliers.

GITC4 is version four of the Government Information Technology and Communications contracting framework, a legal framework developed as a cooperative effort between Australian industry representatives and the Australian Government. GITC is based on standard Terms and Conditions for the purchase of products and services in the information technology (including major office machines) and telecommunications fields. The framework is designed to assist government buyers and industry suppliers to develop contracts in the most efficient and effective manner. GITC4 differs from SourceIT in that GITC4 allows a customised contract to be built from a list of clauses.

International Considerations

EU - Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)

Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive 2006 restricts the use of the six substances: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) - PBB and PBDE are flame retardants used in several plastics.

EU - Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive 2003 requires that producers of most electrical equipment are responsible for their products at the end of their useful lives. Producer responsibility includes meeting labelling requirements, providing information to end-users and treatment facilities, ensuring the availability of collection infrastructure, submitting sales and recovery data, and financing WEEE costs.

EU – Batteries and Accumulators directive 2006

The Batteries and Accumulators Directive 2006 explicitly bans certain chemicals and metals in batteries; sets maximum quantities of chemicals and metals in batteries; requires proper waste management of these batteries, including recycling, collections, "take-back" programs, and disposal; sets financial responsibility for programs; and makes rules covering most phases of this legislation, including labelling, marking, documentation, reviews, and other administrative and procedural matters.

US - Presidential Directive 12423

President Executive Order 13423 – Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management 2007 requires federal agencies to adopt the use of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and life cycle management of ICT. The Order mandates agencies to purchase EPEAT Silver or above products, which reduces life cycle environmental loads, including Energy Star standards, RoHS and WEEE standards. The Order also requires agencies to strive to reduce travel by increasing the use of video conferencing and web conferencing.

China - Management Methods for Controlling Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products Regulation 2006 (China RoHS)

The Regulation provides a broad regulatory framework for substance restrictions, pre-market certifications, labelling and information disclosure requirements affecting a broad range of products and parts defined as electronic information products.

China: State Environmental Protection Administration Order No. 40 2008 (SEPA Order)

The SEPA Order sets waste electronic disassembly, utilisation and disposal criteria for electrical and electronic goods. The Order also requires producers, importers and marketers of electrical and electronic products to restrict or phase out hazardous substances in products and equipment which they import, design, fabricate or market. The Order ties in with the China RoHS regulation.

UK - Greening Government ICT Strategy 2008

Greening Government ICT is a strategy of the UK Government that outlines its vision to become carbon neutral in its ICT office estate for energy consumption by 2012, and for Government ICT to become carbon neutral across its lifecycle by 2020.

The Strategy includes initiatives for example overseen by the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council including:

  • the establishment of a Green ICT Delivery group to increase best practice for informing green ICT; and

  • the Green ICT Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) Map which obliges every CIO and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to complete a Green ICT Roadmap with 18 steps. Action on ten of these steps has now been formally mandated.

APPENDIX 5 Environmental Standards and Eco-Labels

International Standards are produced by three key international organisations: the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ISO is a non-governmental organisation and the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards with a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries (including Standards Australia®). The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is another developer of international standards for telecommunications, information technology and power generation products and services. It has strategic relationships with the IEC, ISO, and the ITU.

Types of Environmental Performance Standards

Two levels of environmental performance standards and programs are relevant to this discussion paper: Corporate environmental performance standards which relate to environmental management systems (EMS) and reporting; and, product standards and eco-labelling programs that are concerned with environmental claims relating to specific products or services.

Corporate Environmental Performance Standards

Environmental management standards have been developed to assist organisations to minimise the negative affect of their operations on the environment. The main environmental management standards are those of the ISO 14000 series. ISO 14001 and 14004 relate to Environmental Management Systems, and schemes such as the EU’s Eco management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) or Enviro Mark NZ assist aim to comply with and/or complement these standards.

Environmental Standards for Products -
Independently Certified (IC) and Self Declared (SD) Standards

Environmental labelling is a set of voluntary tools aimed at stimulating the demand for products and services with lower environmental burdens by providing relevant information on their life cycle to address purchasers' demands on environmental information (ISO 14020).

There are many different environmental labelling (eco-label) programs overseen by governments, private companies and non-governmental organisations. ISO 14020:2000 on Environmental labels and declarations, provides guiding principles for the development and use of environmental labels and declarations and is used in conjunction with ISO 14021:1999, ISO 14024:1999 and ISO 14025:1999.

The following two key types of environmental labels or declarations are most relevant to this discussion paper and examples are listed in the following table:

Independent Third-Party Certified (IC) or Type I eco-labels compliant with ISO 14024:1999

In these programs the criteria are set by an independent body and monitored through a certification, or auditing, process prior to the label being awarded.

Self Declared Product (SD) or Type II eco-labels compliant with ISO 14021: 1999

In these programs manufacturers, importers or distributors self-assess a product’s environmental performance against the criteria established by the labelling program. These labels are not independently verified although some programs, such as EPEAT, have a post-claim verification process.

Environmental Performance Standards & Eco-labels








US Environment Protection Agency international standard for energy efficient electronic equipment. It sets energy-efficiency performance criteria that must be met in order for a product to qualify for the ENERGY STAR Label. It has specifications for computers (covering computers, workstations, games consoles and laptops); imaging equipment (covering copiers, fax machines, multi-functional devices (MFDs), printers, and scanners), and monitors.

ENERGY STAR has been adopted by other countries, including Australia, where Australian Government departments and agencies are required to purchase only office equipment that complies with the ENERGY STAR standard, where it is available and fit for purpose.





EPEAT (Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool) is a system in which manufacturers declare their products’ conformance to a comprehensive set of environmental criteria in 8 environmental performance categories:

Reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials

Product longevity/life cycle extension


Materials selection

Energy conservation

Design for end of life

Corporate performance

The operation of EPEAT and the environmental criteria are contained in public standard IEEE 1680 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

EPEAT evaluates electronic products in relation to 51 total environmental criteria, 23 required criteria and 28 optional criteria. Products are ranked according to three tiers of environmental performance - Bronze, Silver, and Gold. All registered products must meet the required criteria, and achieve Bronze status. The standard includes: Desktops, Integrated Desktop Computers, Monitors, Notebooks, Thin Clients, Workstations. Additional standards are being considered for imaging devices, televisions, mobile devices and servers.





GEN (International )
(26 member programs in various countries)


The Global Eco-labelling Network (GEN) is a non-profit association of 26 third party certified, environmental performance labelling organisations from various countries. GEN improves, promotes and develops the eco-labelling of products and services. Members’ eco-labelling programs/schemes fit the ISO 14024 definition for independent certification– ie are life cycle based, voluntary, third party, multi-sectoral and selective schemes.

Source: Global Ecolabeling Network, , 25 August 2009.



The Good Environmental Choice Label (GECA) a non-profit non-government organisation and a member of GEN. The GECA program is complies with the requirements of ISO 14024 and product focused with standards in a range of consumer, building and industrial products.

The GECA 24-2008 Computers standard is applicable to the IT categories: Desktop (or desk-side) computers; Display Devices (e.g., LCD Screens); Laptop computers; Servers. The GECA 10-2008 Standard relates to Printers and Imaging Equipment.

Blue Angel


This was the first eco-label worldwide, established by an independent German body, the Environmental Label Jury. The program meets the ISO 14024 (independently certified) criteria. Blue Angel is a member of GEN. It has standards for workstation computers, printers, copiers & MFDs, laptops, monitors.

Eco-label (EU)


Known as the ‘Flower’ label, the EU Eco-label was established in 1992 by the Environment Directorate of the European Commission. It is used in the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. The EU Eco-label is an independently certified label that stipulates the environmental impact analysis of products or services throughout their complete life cycle, including raw material extraction, production, distribution and disposal. Its product categories include: personal computers (incl desktops, monitors), portable computers (laptops) and televisions.



The EcoLogo Program is a Type I eco-label and meets ISO 14024. The Program compares products/services with others in the same category, develops rigorous and scientifically relevant criteria that reflect the entire lifecycle of the product, and awards the EcoLogo to those that are verified by an independent third party as complying with the criteria. EcoLogo is a member of GEN. Printers, photocopiers, MFDs. EcoLogo is partnering with EPEAT to facilitate the registration of computer desktops, laptops, and monitors (it does not have specific criteria for these products).

ECMA (International - Geneva)


The European Computer Manufacturers Association’s (ECMA) develops and publishes international standards. The Eco-Declaration (TED) or ECMA-370 standard specifies environmental attributes and measurement methods for ICT and consumer electronics (CE) products according to existing regulations, standards, guidelines and currently accepted practices. TED meets the principles of the ISO 14021 (self-declared) eco-labels. The energy section of the standard is in keeping with ENERGY STAR. The ECMA-370 scheme is still in its early stages.






ISO 14001 EMS


The ISO 14001 standard addresses various aspects of environmental management. It enables organisations to address environmental issues and set environmental objectives and targets, taking into account legislative requirements and information about significant environmental impacts. The first two standards, ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14004:2004, deal with environmental management systems (EMS) with ISO 14001 specifying the requirements for an EMS and ISO 14004 providing guidelines on the elements of an EMS and its implementation, and discusses principal issues involved.



The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) of the European Union is a management tool for organisations to evaluate, report and improve their environmental performance. It is a voluntary scheme which adds four ‘pillars’ to the requirements of the international standard for environmental management systems (ISO 14001:2004): continual improvement of environmental performance; compliance with environmental legislation ensured by government supervision; public information through annual reporting; employee involvement.

Enviro Mark NZ


The Enviro-Mark certification programme assists organisations to develop and implement an EMS and then certifies the organisation after an independent audit is completed. It is a five step process (bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond) with diamond level organisations ready for ISO 14001:2004 certification.






NABERS Energy –


NABERS Energy (previously ABGR) assists owners and tenants of existing buildings to reduce energy use, energy costs and greenhouse emissions. The full NABERS performance-based rating system measures an existing building's overall environmental performance and impact during operation using a set of key impact categories - energy, water, waste and indoor environment.

Measures considered for the energy rating: Area of office premises (m2); Occupancy (hours/week); Location (postcode); Number of computers; Energy use (all sources) over past 12 months.

Rating scale: benchmarks a building’s greenhouse impact on a scale of 1 to 5, one star being the most polluting and five stars the least. An organisation can do an informal self-assessment but to advertise the rating it must be formally assessed.

A NABERS rating system for data centres is currently under development.

Green Star


Green Star is an environmental rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings. Rating are generally given at time of planning but can also be done after building completed. The rating system is from 0 to 6 stars with 1 star being the most polluting and five stars the least.


Green Grid
PUE and DCiE

Green Grid: Members of the Green Grid develops standards to measure data centre efficiency, including both the facility and the IT equipment inside. Power usage effectiveness (PUE)– measures data centre & server room energy efficiency. Data centre infrastructure efficiency (DCiE) = (Total IT Equipment Power) / (Total Facility Power)


Corporate Average Data centre Efficiency (CADE)– is a set of four metrics which together monitor and rate the overall energy efficiency of data centres and server rooms and the business performance of a single data centre or the weighted average performance of a group of data centres.

1 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Measuring the Relationship Between ICT and the Environment, 30 July 2009.$FILE/JT03268374.PDF

2 Review of Australian Government’s use of information and communications technology, Commonwealth of Australia, August 2008, Chapter 3, pp53-54

3 Review of Australian Government’s use of information and communications technology, Commonwealth of Australia, August 2008, Chapter 5, p75

4 Commonwealth of Australia, October 2008, Review of the Australian Government’s Use of Information and Communication Technology (Sir Peter Gershon Aug 2008)

5 World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), Our common future, Oxford University Press, 1987 p. 43

7 Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, A National Waste Policy – Managing Waste to 2020, Consultation paper, 2009, p.36

8 Review of Australian Government’s use of information and communications technology, Commonwealth of Australia, August 2008, Chapter 2, p40

9 Reputable implies the use of an eco-label compliant to national and/or international standards; or an established level of performance that has been widely accepted within the Australian Government.

10 Review of Australian Government’s use of information and communications technology, Commonwealth of Australia, August 2008, Chapter 3, pp53-54

11 Energy efficiency plans and energy management plans are synonymous. However, the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy uses the term energy management plans. For the purposes of the discussion paper the term energy management plans will be used.

12 Financial Review Carbon Reduction Conference 2009, ‘Australia in the Low Carbon Economy’, Dr Martin Parkinson, Secretary – Department of Climate Change, 23 July 2009, p2

13 Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme: Australia’s Low Pollution Future, White Paper, 15 December 2008

14 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Measuring the Relationship Between ICT and the Environment, 30 July 2009.$FILE/JT03268374.PDF

15 Senate Committee on Finance and Public Administration, Annual Reports (No.1 of 2008), March 2008, p.28

17 Green Lease Schedules – refer to Appendix 1

18 Green ICT Quick Wins, Australian Government Information Management Office, July 2009,

19 Review of Australian Government’s use of information and communications technology, Commonwealth of Australia, August 2008, Chapter 5, p76

20 Commonwealth Government, Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy, 2006

21 Review of Australian Government’s use of information and communications technology, Commonwealth of Australia, August 2008, Chapter 2, p32

22 Green ICT Scorecard – a performance management tool similar to the corporate balanced scorecard approach.

23 An end user definition will be aligned to an appropriate definition, such as (1) Full Time Equivalent staff, or (2) occupied workstation as defined by the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

24 The energy intensity measures should be expressed as MJ per appropriate business driver of energy consumption to provide a meaningful comparison with other energy intensity measures in the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy. Appropriate drivers of energy consumption may include energy per FTE, ASL, occupied workstations, m2 etc

25 ANAO, Audit Report No 25 2008-09, Green Offie Procurement and Sustainable Office Management. p25.

27 OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy Working Party on the Information Economy, “Measuring the Relationship between ICT and the Environmentâ€, 2008/4, p.19

28 Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW website, “Teleworking†

29 Department of Finance and Deregulation, AGIMO, website: Better Practice Checklist - 21. ICT Support for Telework

30 ANAO, Audit Report No 25 2008-09, Green Offie Procurement and Sustainable Office Management. p29.

31 OECD, Towards Green ICT Strategies – Assessing Policies and Programmes on ICT and the Environment, May 2009, p26

32 Uptime Institute, CADE Metric – Corporate Average Data Centre Efficiency, 2009 ,

33 Green Grid, Proxy proposals for measuring data centre productivity’, 2009

34 ibid

35 The UpTime Institute

From: Whole-of-Government ICT Sustainability Plan Discussion Paper , Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 8 September 2009

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