Friday, 7 August 2009

UK public sector misses emissions targets

I've been saying for some time that the UK public sector has not been giving the lead on reducing emissions that you would expect, given the ambitious carbon reduction targets the government has set. Well that view has now been confirmed by a report from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), which comprises 15 backbench MPs.

In its 'Greening Government' report the committee relayed the findings of the Sustainable Development Commission, which concluded that in 2007–08 the Government was not on track to meet its target for the reduction of carbon emissions from its own buildings. Whilst it was on target for recycling and for the sourcing renewable electricity, it performed less well than it had in the previous year.

The report notes "The ease with which the Government continues to meet some targets, even when its performance worsens, indicates the urgent need for the Government to set itself stringent targets that match the high level of ambition of its own policies on climate change and sustainable development".

It seems that only central government departments and their Executive Agencies are required to report their performance against the targets. "We urge the Government to extend a system of targets and monitoring to the wider public sector, including its outsourced operations" (my italics).

The UK government is certainly going to have to get tougher in setting and managing emissions targets in the public sector, which means that there is likely to be more ICT demands to achieve efficiencies in a sector that has been the prime UK market opportunity for some time.

The comment on outsourcing could also implications for some of the existing major IT services contracts, such as Capgemini/HMRC and the troubled BT/CSC NHS contracts.

© The Green IT Review

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