Conservation charity WWF has started a search to identify companies using technology to cut their carbon footprint.
The initiative will be part of a report, to be published in May 2008, that will show how IT can contribute to one billion tonnes of CO2 reductions.
The focus of the green movement has been on replacing coal with renewable sources, but greater intelligence about energy use is also required, said WWF global policy adviser Dennis Pamlin.
“Many IT companies sit on solutions that could dramatically reduce CO2, but are failing to take a leadership role,” he said.
“We want to see everything from meters that allow you to switch off your freezer during peak power demand, to information about your lifestyle.”
The report aims to show that most necessary solutions already exist, and are capable of delivering a low-carbon economy.
WWF is keen to hear from anyone who can offer information or ideas, said
The charity hopes the report will inspire the IT industry to assume a leading role in reducing emissions, but also convince politicians to review available rules and incentives.
The government shares responsibility for optimising IT’s contribution, said Ollie Ross, head of research for user group The Corporate IT Forum.
“Environmental issues are very much on the chief information officer’s (CIO’s) agenda, but in companies where green isn’t considered a business differentiator there will always be competing demands,” she said.
“This is why the government must play an important role in the drive to reduce the environmental impact of IT, by providing CIOs with greater incentives to green their IT operations.”
The IT industry has a dual role in the fight against climate change, said Martin Williams, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth.
“The IT industry can offer solutions that can help reduce emissions, but it also needs to make sure its own house is in order,” he said.