Nearly 70% of UK businesses have no target to reduce their carbon footprint research by the Green Technology Initiative reveals today, yet over 90% of respondents to the Green IT Awareness Survey think that tackling the carbon footprint of IT systems is core to an overall green strategy.
Across the board the survey reveals a story of businesses believing in the concept of greener IT but failing to translate that into action, instead they are looking to suppliers and to the Government to carry the responsibility for bringing down emissions. Chris Hines, Director of Sustainability, at The Eden Project comments: “IT has the potential to have huge benefits for sustainability. But if played wrong can accelerate its impact disastrously. All business can think smart about making IT work for them and the planet.”
Seventy nine percent do not link power costs to hardware spend or IT budgets. Despite the fact that a small server will now cost more to power during its lifecycle than it costs to purchase initially. Indeed over 95% of respondents do not know how efficient their IT systems are because they have no measurement.
“What we are doing in IT today is not sustainable. Systems efficiency is the cheapest and easiest way of reducing the carbon footprint of the work you do and delivered properly it has the benefit of bringing down costs across the board,” says Dan Sutherland, founder and acting chair of the Green Technology Initiative. “Whilst undoubtedly UK enterprises are willing to take action, many lack the incentive, knowledge and resources to make immediate changes.”
There is some good news. The message about turning off systems that are not in use is beginning to get through, but much more needs to be done. Over 50% of respondents had still not caught on and of those that had many had only begun the process.
The overwhelming majority of respondents are looking to vendors, hardware manufacturers and government to get them and the country on target to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% before 2010. A target we are not on track to meet.
“Businesses are very aware of green issues but they are failing to translate that into effective action. 2010 is not far away and IT accounts for a significant amount of greenhouse emissions, so now is the time to take greater responsibility and tackle IT energy consumption,” concluded Dan Sutherland. “But business is clearly not getting the help and support it needs to take that responsibility. Both industry and the Government need to work together to help businesses make the changes they clearly want to make.”