40 Percent Of UK Businesses Lack Green IT Policies

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Organisations are put off by the time and effort needed for Green IT measures, a survey finds

A survey has revealed that as many as 40 percent of UK organisations do not have any green IT policies in place, with many reluctant to implement even the most simple of measures.

The research, commissioned by Faronics, attempted to establish what carbon reduction efforts have been put in place by UK organisations, as well as consumer and business attitudes towards green IT and what impact these may have on productivity.

Shut Down

According to the survey, conducted by One Poll, 40 percent of organisations did not have any policies, with 48 percent blaming this on the time and effort required to develop, implement and enforce such strategies. Only 27 percent said they considered themselves to be a “green” organisation in terms of IT efficiency.

The study indicates that some organisations do not even adopt simple measures such as powering down PCs after hours, a policy which could save an estimated £30.8m every day. Many companies believe that desktops need to be on for routine security updates, with 36 percent believing that powering down desktops would affect IT maintenance.

It is believed that as many as 80 percent of desktop computers are unmanaged, with PC power management tools rarely employed by IT departments because they are not responsible for power costs. However the market for such software is expected to grow as the cost of energy increases.

Faronics argues the focus of green IT policies on large, centralised initiatives such as data centre and server strategies means that more local solutions are neglected.

Renewed Focus

“While focusing green IT solely on the data centre is certainly a step in the right direction, it can divert attention away from more basic, everyday measures such as powering down idle desktops,” said Bimal Parmar, vice president of product marketing at Faronics. “The impact of a sound desktop management strategy should not be underestimated, especially when considering that only 30 percent of a desktop’s energy is actually utilised productively. This not only wastes a significant amount of power, but also results in unnecessarily high costs.”

The survey also revealed that just 27 percent of UK organisations consider corporate social responsibility, and reputation to be the primary reason for enforcing Green IT policies, but Faronics argues that the release of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Performance League Table indicates a growing focus on power consumption.

This proportion is bound to rise as the CRC’s naming and shaming of underperforming companies begins to have an impact on brand reputation,” commented Parmar. “Consumers are becoming increasingly eco-savvy and those delivering superior energy and environmental performance are beginning to appeal much more to potential customers.”

Despite adoption of the CRC being heavily encouraged by the government, nearly half of UK firms said that they wanted the CRC Scheme scrapped as the league table showed that many were failing to meet emissions targets.

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