Green IT saves government £1.3m in 12 months

By Computing Staff
04 Jul 2012 View Comments

Government departments have saved around £1.3m during the past year from adopting greener ICT practices, such as improving the energy efficiency of server rooms and replacing business travel to meetings with videoconferencing.

That is one of the key claims of the Cabinet Office's first annual progress report, Greening Government: ICT Strategy.

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The report, launched this week, revealed that 12 departments, including Work and Pensions, Justice, and Health, provided assessments showing how they were working to adopt best practices from the government's Green ICT Workbook.

Overall these departments saved about 232,000 tons of CO2 (tCO2) and £1.26m during the 12 months to end March 2012, it said.

The report highlighted some key departmental achievements, including 3,500 tCO2 saved by the Ministry of Justice after it replaced old desktop computers and screens in courts.

Similarly, the Department of Communities and Local Government replaced 300 traditional printers with 50 multi-functional devices to cut paper usage by half a tonne annually.

And a telepresence system at a number of key Ministry of Defence locations has eliminated 761 return journeys, saving 27.2 tCO2 since it became operational in February this year.

However, the report identified a number of challenges facing departments, including the urgent need for departments to improve the energy efficiency of datacentres.

It found that 10 government department datacentres are costing at least £17.5m a year in energy costs and emitting 101,000 tCO2. The average Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) level of those datacentres was 1.87, well above the 1.5 target set by the government.

The report said the POU rating could be improved through relatively simple efficiency measures and called on departments to deliver greater energy efficiency savings.

"ICT plays a fundamental role in the UK Green Agenda," said the report. "However, it is not just about delivering energy-efficient ICT, but also about how green ICT is an enabler for greener and more sustainable government business operation.

"This means exploring the opportunities for smarter working and smarter technologies; moving to online services where possible; exploiting collaborative tools; making better use of mobile technologies and much more."

This article was first published on our sister website www.businessgreen.com

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