The adoption of coherent green IT policies is still a long way from the corporate mainstream, according to a major survey of more than 1,000 European firms which found that just one in 10 firms currently has a formal green IT strategy in place.
The study, which was undertaken by IT company HP, found that not only had few firms successfully rolled out a green IT strategy, but that there was also widespread scepticism that improvements in energy efficiency could keep track with ever-increasing demand for computing power.
Almost two thirds of respondents said that no matter how efficient they made their datacentres, growing business demands would mean that CO2 emissions would continue to grow.
However, despite this scepticism, the majority of firms are now seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their IT department, with 33 per cent of respondents claiming they have begun work on implementing a green IT strategy and 35 per cent saying that they plan to do so.
Ian Brookes, UK & EMEA head of innovation and sustainable computing at HP, said that while relatively few firms had fully deployed a green IT strategy, there was still cause for optimism.
"A lot of departments have now accepted that they will need to meet environmental targets handed by the chief executive, it is just that they are unsure where to start to develop a green IT strategy," he said. "The big issue now for the industry is how to get from good intentions to good results."
He added that despite this confusion, there were signs from the survey that progress was being made and environmental best practices were being adopted.
"We found that 47 per cent of firms see green issues as playing a part in their purchasing decisions," Brooks said. "In many ways it is disappointing that the majority of firms still do not include green factors in procurement decisions, but only a year or so ago fewer than 20 per cent did - so we have seen a significant increase."
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