Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Public vs Private Sector

There was an article in the The Observer newspaper in the UK last weekend about how governments are embroiled in discussions on how to save the planet but businesses are just getting on with it - and making money. It struck a chord.

The problem for governments is that they have to come up with policies and so fight with competing views from different sectors with separate interests. They look to the policy first, before trying to pursue it. But the policy is needed, and quickly. International agreements are slow and an inevitable compromise, but that doesn't mean that national governments can't set their own targets.

The UK is a leader in this respect and yet it still seems to have an uncoordinated approach. Whilst setting CO2 emissions targets it also seems to be going soft on fuel tax (it cancelled a proposed rise this afternoon) and even supports an increase in air travel through another runway at Heathrow.

When it comes to specifics, around IT for example, there is little evidence of any real effort by government departments.

Industry is, at least at the moment, driven by stakeholder demands, competitive positioning and the possibility of new business opportunities. Legislation can only help. When there is legislation business complains, but quickly responds and innovates to move on. Certainly the IT companies I come in contact with are doing much more to turn their organisations Green than government departments are. The government should be giving the lead.

FOOTNOTE: I wrote this blog this morning to post this afternoon, but in the meantime I got a call to say that the UK government is tomorrow morning announcing its action plan to reduce the carbon footprint of its IT systems, with timescales and targets, etc. I'll let you know the details when I get them.

© The Green IT Review

No comments:

Post a Comment