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UK Government Agencies Face Green IT Targets

uk-cio-council2When the UK’s Greening Government ICT strategy is updated in July, it will include 10 mandated targets for government agencies, reports eWeek.

Chief information officers at UK government agencies are now wondering whether the targets will include penalties for noncompliance.

A government green ICT specialist said she hopes to introduce stricter targets in coming years, adding, “Hopefully we can raise the bar now with a little bit more brutality for next year but the ministers have to sign that off of course.”

A council of CIOs developed a list of key objectives for making a greener IT in UK government. From that list, 10 objectives have been chosen for first-round implementation. However, the list of 10 has not yet been revealed.

According to the Chief Information Officer Council, here are the key objectives:

  • By 2012 energy consumption must be carbon neutral
  • By 2020 government must be ICT carbon neutral across its life cycle
  • By January 2009 all departments are to address and consider the impact on carbon emissions of all new ICT purchases building on existing mandatory “Quick Wins” standards or certain aspects of sustainable ICT purchasing across government.
  • Central governments office estate will be carbon neutral by 2012.
  • By 2020 the government aims to comply with and where possible lead and go beyond global best practice for sustainability across the whole lifecycle. This will cover carbon neutrality and processes for use of materials, water, accommodation and transport in the manufacture, use and disposal of ICT.
  • Off-setting is to be seen as a last resort and only through accredited scheme.
  • Extend the lifecycle of all ICT purchases to their natural demise either caused by failure, inability to support the business objectives of the organzsation, excessive maintenance costs or excessive carbon footprint and energy consumption, as opposed to frequent automatic refresh and replacement programs, where such extension will have environmental benefits across the product lifecycle;
  • Reduce the overall number of PCs and laptops used by the organization to reach as close to a 1:1 ratio as possible unless there are exceptional circumstances; Exceptional circumstances to include Health and Safety concerns, formal on-call arrangements, business continuity arrangements and accessibility or special needs circumstances such as caring duties.
  • Extend the business/IT Strategy to include a green ICT plan that shows how the department will deliver the strategic objectives detailed above.
  • Implement as many actions from “Areas for ICT Carbon Reduction” as are practicable and necessary to deliver the strategic objectives above.
  • Implement a range of active device power management actions as detailed in tab one to significantly reduce power consumption.
  • Reduce the overall number of printers used by the organization and replace with multi-function devices with green printing defaults wherever possible and where security issues allow.
  • Increase average server capacity utilization to achieve a minimum of 50 percent where possible, as part of a commitment to comply with the forthcoming European Code of Conduct for the operation of Data Centers.
  • As well as continuing adherence to the “Quick Wins” criteria, by January 2009 all procurement documentation must specify environmental criteria for ICT in line with advice being developed by the OGC Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement.
  • By December 2009 demonstrate how ICT is helping one’s department reduce its carbon footprint across the complete supply/value chain.
  • By January 2010 departments will be ready to report on the progress made towards carbon neutrality.
  • Ensure CIOs demonstrate leadership, sign a sustainable ICT charter with industry providers, review existing ICT contracts and amend where possible and report achievements back into the CIO Council via the MOD-chaired Green ICT Delivery Group (GDU).
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