03 Jul 2009View Comments
Sixty per cent of public sector IT managers are not aware of the government’s green IT strategy, according to research.
And of those who are aware of the year-old Greening Government plan, two-thirds say they are concerned about their ability to achieve the targets, which include public sector IT becoming carbon neutral within four years.
But the survey of 173 IT managers by environmental charity Global Action Plan and vendor Cisco, suggests that 70 per cent of respondents still feel green IT is important.
However, only 13 per cent of those polled measure the carbon footprint of their technology, and just 22 per cent have set internal green IT targets.
Steve Palmer, president of public sector user group Socitm, said greater understanding and collaboration is needed to take advantage of green IT innovations.
"The economic downturn provides an enormous opportunity for maximising the potential that IT has for delivering high quality, low carbon services,” he said.
“Most public sector bodies know they cannot afford to continue as normal and will need to restructure the way that services are delivered. Green IT initiatives cannot just reduce travel, enable flexible working and reduce energy consumption; they can also improve the quality and delivery of frontline services.”
Gartner vice president Rakesh Kumar said the public sector needs to share best practice more effectively.
“Where government is successfully implementing green IT schemes it should be making the effectiveness of these transparent through case studies and wider promotional activities to demonstrate what is possible to other large-scale IT users,” he said.
“Government needs to increase the level of transparency around the effectiveness of green IT initiatives. This will help to build collaboration, reduce duplication and embed good practice.”
The Cisco report recommends that government use its purchasing power to push the use of more environmentally-friendly systems, and fund the use of external experts to help public sector bodies achieve the aims of the Greening Government strategy.
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