Thursday, March 17, 2011

Systematic Approach to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greetings from the Australian National University Planning & Project Support Office where Samuel Fernandes, the Green ICT Project Officer is discussing "Project planning: Using the Six Sigma methodology". He used the DMAIC Six Sigma methodology for reducing the ANU's greenhouse gas emissions.

Sam is a former student of my Green Information Technology Strategies course. In that we touched on methodologies, but he is now using a far more sophisticated approach to greenhouse gas emissions in a complex organisational context. MAIC Six Sigma methodology was developed by Motorola in 1986.

Sam described the differences between outputs, such as reporting emissions and outcomes, such as lower energy use and greater awareness. SIPOC diagrams and Critical to Quality trees are used to detail this analysis. These techniques are used for large and complex IT projects. I am not aware of this level of sophistication of analysis being applied to green ICT before, which has mostly been confined to wishful thinking and unverified targets.

The Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan 2010 - 2015 (DEWHA, 2010) set a target of 400 kWhr per PC by July 2012, a 38% reduction on the baseline of 630 kWh. All agencies are required to report ICT energy use annually, starting with this financial year, in their 2010/2011 annual report. So agencies have about 15 months to prepare to report. Verdiem and others sell monitoring software to help with the reporting and to reduce energy use. But agencies might benefit from a methodology like that used by the ANU.

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