Faronics, which sells a range of computer management and utility software products, last week released the results of a green IT survey in the UK. It revealed that 40% of organisations do not have any green IT policies in place and only 27% consider themselves to be a green organisation in terms of IT efficiency. Of those that had no green IT policies, almost half blamed the time required to develop, implement and enforce the strategies.
The results came from a survey of 1000 employees from a range of organisation sizes in the public and private sector. It was conducted by One Poll in November - the full survey results are here.
The main reason for having green IT policies is cost savings, as you might expect, cited by 48%. But for those without policies, it was the time to implement and the effort to maintain it that stands in the way of green IT – cited by almost 80%.
Just 27% of UK organisations consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and reputation to be the primary reason for enforcing a green IT policy. But Faronics points out that this may change with the release of the Carbon Trust’s annual CRC Performance League Table (PLT) earlier this month. “This proportion is bound to rise as the CRC’s naming and shaming of underperforming companies begins to have an impact on brand reputation,” said Bimal Parmar, VP of Product Marketing at Faronics.
I’m not sure that the CRC performance table would have an impact on these results, given that 57% of responses were from companies with less than 100 employees. Few of those will be in the CRC Energy Efficiency scheme.
What I continue to be surprised about is the 42% of respondents that had no policy requiring employees to switch off or put their workstations into a low-power mode when not in use. It’s not unexpected, it just seems so short-sighted that more companies have not implemented a policy and/or installed PC power management software. (Faronics sells a PC power management product, which is why they asked the question). In the case of this survey, 22% said that most people in their company never turn their computers off at all.
With payback typically measured in thee to six months and the potential to implement agent-less software, i.e. nothing is installed on individual machines, just the central server, implementation is easy and the savings can be large. There’s certainly a lot of education still needed out there, although I suspect it’s the smaller companies that have yet to recognise the benefits.