21 September 2009

Green IT Cuts Carbon - UK

Excerpt from Warmer Bulletin e-news, 18 September 2009

'The UK Government has saved at least £7 million over the past year by making its IT systems greener, Cabinet Office Minister Angela Smith said today.

Changes including extending the life of PCs, making double-sided printing the default option and making sure computers are turned off at night have helped cut the carbon footprint of central Government computers by 12,000 tonnes - the same as taking 5,000 cars off the road.

Speaking at the Greening Government ICT conference in London, Cabinet Office Minister Angela Smith said: "Information technology is one of the hidden causes of climate change - worldwide, computers are responsible for the same amount of carbon emissions as the airline industry, but few people are taking action to improve the situation."...

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is responsible for up to 20 per cent of carbon emissions generated by Government offices. Each year it generates around 460,000 tonnes a year, the same amount created by a million households in a month or a jumbo jet flying around the world more than a thousand times. Last year the Government was the first in the world to introduce measures to tackle the huge financial and environmental cost of ICT.

Departments were asked to take 18 key steps including turning off all machines at night, extending the lifecycle of computers, reusing as much IT equipment as possible and increasing server efficiency. In the first year alone some of the success stories include:...

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) saving £2.35 million by replacing 9,500 computers and 2,500 printers every five years rather than every three...

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will save 200 million sheets of paper a year through cutting down the number of printers in the department and changing the default setting to double-sided printing

Last month the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) praised the UK Government for being the only Government taking serious action to tackle the Green IT issue...

Following the publication of the Greening Government ICT strategy last year, 110 public bodies have produced Green ICT action plans establishing measures for improving the energy consumption and carbon cost of their ICT. The action plans not only clarify what steps are completed but also set out actions with delivery dates for the remaining steps during the next 18 months.'

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