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Goverment lays out plans to go IT green

Goverment lays out plans to go IT green

This report from the United Kingdom's Cabinet Office lays out the government's green IT vision and strategies to help achieve carbon neutrality in IT usage by 2012.

From the introduction to the report:

Government runs some of the world's largest computer systems. They are an essential element in the delivery of public services, be it helping 6000 people into jobs every day, handling 7.5 million online car tax renewals or storing more than 400 million digital x-rays. Hundreds of thousands of public servants can use their desktop computers to work far more efficiently than we could have dreamed possible as recently as 20 years ago.

But this progress comes with a price. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a major user of energy and natural resources. The use and disposal of computers, servers and printers has to happen in a sustainable way and as Britain's largest purchaser of ICT it is up to us to set an example. We have to do our best to ensure that the very systems that improve the lives of millions of people do not also have a negative impact on the environment.

The Greening Government ICT strategy sets out the first steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint. We are the first government in the world to look at our ICT in this way and we want to see changes taking place immediately. We want to see best green practice throughout government - computers switched off overnight, printers defaulting to duplex, data centres efficiently cooled. The good news is that we are not alone in aiming for these goals. There is already a great deal of activity in departments and within industry and we will be working with our suppliers to ensure that action is taken immediately.

The government has also released a review of its progress after one year of the Greening Government ICT project; that report is available to download from CabinetOffice.gov.uk [PDF].

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