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MPs urge further action on green IT

MPs urge further action on green IT

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has said the government should be more ambitious in its strategy for greening the use of information technology.

Part of its Greening Government report (pdf) highlights the Greening Government ICT Strategy, launched in July 2009, with a claim that it is time to raise the ambition level around the agenda.

"The chief information officers and chief technology officers have responded well to the first set of targets but they must now be increased," the reports says. "The strategy itself acknowledges there is a need to work with departments and industry to explore and invest in radical green ICT solutions for the ICT problem, but also consider issues relating to the life cycle impact and disposal of old IT hardware."

It points to a number of areas in which further action could be taken, including: - extending procurement cycles to a mandatory minimum of four years - reducing the duplication of equipment per person - ensuring that data centres meet the European Data Centre code of Conduct for server optimisation - reducing unnecessary packaging of equipment - developing a pan-government strategy on video conferencing - increasing the amount of renewable energy sourced for electricity.

The report says the government is developing a Green ICT Scorecard to help organisations deal with environmental responsibilities, and a roadmap for chief information officers to support their efforts in the field.

It also highlights the potential of IT to reduce the need for travel, and to ensure that people make the most efficient travel choices through providing them with the relevant information.

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