Global Action Plan tests IT on environment issues

Eighty-six per cent IT professionals do not know the carbon footprint of their organization, despite concern for environmental initiatives.

Only 15 oer cent of enterprises are planning to calculate their carbon footprint, according to a survey of IT professionals conducted by Computerworld UK on behalf of practical environmental charity Global Action Plan.

Time pressures, cost, lack of corporate commitment, scarcity of information and lack of knowledge in the enterprise are the biggest obstacle to implementing green IT technologies, found the survey.

The national survey of IT professionals of large enterprises, which was backed by Logicalis, found the majority (more than half) of ICT departments do not see their company’s energy bills, even though IT is a significant consumer of energy.

Despite the high energy use of IT equipment, most enterprises are failing to involve the IT department in sustainable initiatives. For instance, environmental performance is not a major consideration in IT purchasing decisions. More than a third do not consider the environmental benefits at all when purchasing new products.

What’s more, half of all ICT professionals surveyed said they have actively sought to become involved in their organizations environmental initiatives in some way. However, one quarter of ICT departments are not part of their organization’s social responsibility and sustainability strategy at all, and a further 50 per cent are only partially involved.

Industry standards and incentives such as tax allowances are needed to encourage enterprises to embark on green projects, the survey found. IT professionals broadly agreed that incentives to implement green best practices can inspire employees to make significant changes. But only six per cent of the organizations surveyed have financial or personal incentives for their ICT department to adopt friendly initiatives.

The 120 IT professionals that responded to the survey manage more than 500,000 workers in the UK in total, and have a combined budget of more than