Friday, 13 March 2009

Green Lobbying by IT Companies

Following up on my comments last week with regard to Greenpeace's Green IT Challenge, it should be pointed out that there are certainly some organisations of companies (ICT and non-ICT) that are lobbying for stronger green policy and regulation, particularly in the US.

One that received some publicity this week is BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) formed around four months ago. Symantec and eBay have just joined Sun Microsystems as members. The organisation says that its goals are to 'work directly with key allies in the business community and with relevant members of Congress to pass meaningful energy and climate change legislation that is consistent with our core principles'.

Other groups with similar aims and ICT members include:

• The Climate Group – a non-profit organisation formed from an international group of companies, governments and supporters aimed at advancing business and government leadership on climate change

• Combat Climate Change (3C) – a global opinion group of companies looking to bring climate change to the forefront of business and trade discussions

• International Climate Change Partnership (ICCP) – a coalition of companies and trade associations committed to contributing to international policy on climate change

• United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) - businesses and environmental organisations that are calling on the US federal government to enact national legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

There are also groups more focused on green IT, including the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Green Grid.

But the point of my comment last week (and, I think, Greenpeace's concern) is that individual companies will not lobby around specific policies. In this respect the fact that 'BICEP’s members are primarily consumer companies that are not major greenhouse gas emitters, but will nevertheless be impacted by climate regulations and other climate-related impacts' seems significant. Consumer companies can afford to be more overt in their support of green policies - customers are increasingly demanding a greener approach. It's not the same for a business-to-business ICT company working across a range of industry sectors.

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