Government not yet at the Green IT tipping point

Federal Government agencies are yet to hit the tipping point of deriving real business benefits out Green IT adoption, according to Senator Kate Lundy.

But the momentum is heading in the right direction with “smarter” use of IT and procurement practices increasingly evident, Lundy argues.

“I am optimistic because at least what we have started doing as a government is putting in place specific strategies as part of the IT reform program to achieve Green outcomes,” she told Computerworld Australia.

“So it is on the political agenda, and the tipping point I am talking about is when the political leadership, which is theoretically there, and the developing professional understanding of Green IT and what it means… it is really in that middle area where you connect the two dots.

“We are not quite there yet, but the political leadership is there and the smarts are growing fast on the ground and it is not too far away. I am really hopeful that promoting Green IT Week that can help us get a bit closer to that tipping point where the penny drops that so much can be gained from efficiency gains with how we deploy our technology.”

The senator has agreed to become an ambassador for the ComputersOff-led International Green IT Awareness Week which runs from 1-7 June.

“It’s not just about turning the technology off, but it is how you can use the IT smarter to achieve a Greener outcome,” she said. “Think smart networks and having clever software running on your system that can tell when things aren’t being used and switch them off. So it’s about using the smarts in the technology to achieve a Greener outcome. I think that is really to me the tipping point for Green IT.

“When IT departments realise they can return an energy efficiency dividend to the business they work for, suddenly that makes real business sense and will become part of the business imperative.”

Green IT Week is a collaborative initiative consisting of in-person and online seminars and activities and will be hosted by ComputersOff.ORG. It will involve expert researchers, green IT specialists, vendors and manufacturers, as well as organisations which have already successfully implemented their own Green IT initiatives.

The not-for-profit organisation has launched its Green IT Awareness Week website, which will provide information on the events that will run from 1-7 June.

Celebrities have also supported the International Green IT Week by sharing their views on a video collaboration posted on YouTube.

The list of celebrity supporters includes James Arnold Taylor, Nelson Aspen, Frederic Prinz Von Anhalt, Tanna Federick and Mariah Carradine.

Australia has been ranked in the bottom half of G20 nations for its ability to use ICT to reduce CO2 emissions according to IDC's ICT Sustainability Index.

The Index, which was launched to the public at the United Nations COP15 climate change meetings in Copenhagen, found Australia could cut up to 116.6 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2020 if it used more intensive ICT solutions in the transport, industry, building, and energy generation and distribution sectors.

Overall the G20 nations – which account for over 70 per cent of all emissions – could cut CO2 emissions by 25 per cent to 2020 with 41.4 per cent of this potential existing in the Asia-Pacific region.

The countries were ranked into five tiers with Japan being the only country to achieve a Tier 1 ranking with a score of 16. Tier 2 comprised the US, France, Germany, Brazil and the UK in that order.

Australia scrapped into Tier 4 as the 13th ranked country behind Turkey, South Korea and China. South Africa and Indonesia received the dubious honour of the worst ranked.

In outlining Australia's results, Philip Carter, IDC associate research director for Green IT Sustainability Research, noted smart metering could account for 9 per cent of CO2 emissions reduction in the power sector while private transport optimisation could decrease emissions in that sector by 5 per cent.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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