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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Computerworld’s Green IT Checklist: Make Room for the Biggest Opportunity

Following on from my previous post, "The IT Green Team – What’s Next?" as one of the finalists in the Computerworld Green IT Awards, BT was included in some of the real life examples in Mary Pratt’s Computerworld report “A green IT checklist: From first steps to stretch goals."

It is a great checklist, which, as the title says, is arranged in categories ranging from low-hanging fruit (limit paper use) through stretch (monitor and manage data center usage) to longer-term (build green). But, I still think it misses the biggest opportunity for the ICT vertical. Direct emissions are important at 2-3% of world emissions but, in order of magnitude, the most material contribution we can make is what I call leveraged, or indirect, emissions reductions. According to SMART 2020 these represent as much as a 15% reduction opportunity in global emissions. (And SMART 2020 is one of the most conservative reports on the topic. Others identify even higher potential for savings).

As much as IT departments should be managing and reducing direct footprint, it must not be at the expense of also thinking more strategically about the contribution their services can bring into their organizations to leverage improvements in the broader energy efficiency of the company. I therefore would have liked to have seen some reference to these included in both the stretch and long-term goals, but it’s a great start and the core premise of the report should be commended.

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