UK Lags In Green IT


British IT managers can’t be bothered to set an environmental policy, according to a survey from HP

Companies in the UK are lagging way behind the rest of Europe in adopting environmental policies, according to a report from Vanson Bourne, published by Hewlett-Packard.

Only 16 percent of companies in the UK have a formal environmental policy, according to the survey of 2000 companies in seven countries. Across the whole of Europe, 45 percent of large enterprises and 30 percent of small-to-medium businesses have such a policy.

The study also revealed how little use policies are: it looked at “green printing”, and found that many companies (77 percent) specify such printers that can produce double-sided output to save paper – but less than 50 percent of people actually use the feature when it’s available to them.

Green IT is still driven by suppliers not by users, said David Metcalfe, director of sustainability consultant Verdantix: “From 2009 to 2011, green IT is still supply-driven, and customers need help. But in 2012 to2014, there will be a transformation, with firms investing to become sustainability leaders.”

Hewlett-Packard is part-way through a drive to reduce the energy use of its printers by 40 percent by 2011, having already cut the figure by 32 perecent, said Bruno Zago UK environmental manager for HP. It’s also helping users to reduce the number of personal printers they have: “Many companies can consolidate from one printer to every three employees, to one in ten,” he said.

More controversially, the company is proud of its cartridge recycling policy, which has made around 400 million print cartridges that use recycled plastic from old print cartridges. Despite arguments that suggest re-using printer cartridges would be more green, end users want to recycle their cartridges, said Zago – at least according to the HP-funded study.

Click to read the authors bio  Click to hide the authors bio