Friday, 22 February 2008

ICT Energy-Saving Legislation

According to EurActiv the EU is set to announce a range of Green ICT proposals. The commission feels (and I agree) that IT is not being used enough in the fight to reduce carbon emissions and increase sustainability, but the EU Commission is also looking to reduce the environmental impact of the use of IT itself.

Recommendations are likely to come out later this year, but Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, is quoted as saying “if necessary, we can also consider mandatory public-procurement standards”.

Having met with the UK Cabinet Office this week I think this is probably a good move. The Cabinet Office is drawing up a short list of actions to reduce the power and waste generated by government IT use. The list of around 10 initiatives – including things like turning off PCs and a greater sharing of printers – is highly commendable but falls short of any direct impact on procurement, which falls within the OGC’s (Office of Government Computing) ‘value for money’ remit.

Any EU moves would speed up a move to greater environmental input to procurement in the public sector. But given the fact that PAC’s figures show that 20% of European software and IT services spend is in the public sector (and more than 30% in the UK) this will have a significant impact on suppliers (and not just prime contractors).

© The Green IT Review

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