12 December 2007
The UK's ICT sector has a carbon footprint similar to the aviation industry and its growth means it will soon surpass it, a new report has revealed.
Global Action Plan's An Inefficient Truth shows that the growth in carbon emissions from the sector is being exacerbated by government policies requiring higher levels of data to be stored.
Worryingly, less than 20 per cent of surveyed ICT firms even see their energy bills.
But most ICT professionals are aware of green technology and would like to be involved in sustainability initiatives, Global Action Plan said. But they need the support to do so.
The survey, which was completed by CIOs, IT directors and senior decision makers from 120 UK organisations, found that more than 60 per cent of respondents consider time pressures and cost the biggest barriers to adopting sustainable ICT policies.
They believe that recognised standards and tax allowances would provide the most valuable support towards reducing ICT's contribution to the UK's carbon emissions.
Global Action Plan is calling on the UK government to introduce legislation and tax incentives to support the adoption of sustainable ICT policies and strategy in British businesses.
That support includes:
- Incentives to help companies reduce the carbon footprint of their IT activities
- A sufficient supply of energy for data centre needs in the future
- A review of policies on long-term data storage to take into account the carbon implications
- ICT vendors to significantly improve the quality of their environmental information
- ICT departments to be accountable for the energy costs of running and cooling ICT equipment
- Companies to ensure ICT departments are fully engaged in their CSR and environmental policies