Last Week Fujitsu published a report looking at Green IT in the financial services sector. The paper compares the Green IT
maturity of banking, finance and insurance organisations in four countries, the US, UK, Australia and India, based on information from more than 630 CIOs and senior IT managers across industry sectors.
The research uses the Green IT maturity methodology from Connection Research/RMIT University to quantify five aspects of Green IT implementation:
Lifecycle (procurement and disposal)
End user IT efficiencies
Enterprise and data centre IT efficiencies
Use of IT as a low-carbon enabler
Measurement and monitoring
The full report can be downloaded here, but the UK financial services sector ranked highest of the countries with a score of 63.8 (out of 100), followed by the US at 60.3, Australia (53.9) and India (51.1). Compared with other industries, financial services scored just above the average; 57.3 against the top rated ICT sector at 62.6 (IT/Comms/Media).
The highest scoring aspect of Green IT varied between countries. End-user computing was in top spot in the UK and Australia, lifecycle in the US, and enterprise computing in India, but for all four countries ‘measurement and monitoring’ scored lowest
The UK’s lead was attributed to a combination of the sophistication of the sector’s IT systems and the country’s environmental legislation. The particularly high score of 69.3 for the end user aspect was credited to companies moving beyond the quick wins to longer term actions.
The finance sector is a heavy user of IT because technology is so central to its operations, consequently the consumption of energy by IT is greater than in other industries. From what I’ve seen the industry has been a relatively early adopter of some aspects of green IT (for instance in the end user aspects, which explains the lead) but the focus is on where most money can be saved with least effort.
That attitude might explain why measuring emissions has been less well addressed – this is not so much a planned and targeted sustainability approach but a cost cutting exercise. But it doesn’t really explain why more has not been done in enterprise computing. The banks have a huge opportunity to save energy and emissions in data centres and via the cloud.