There is a scientific consensus that we need to act rapidly to
cut carbon dioxide emissions if we are to limit the most
extreme effects of climate change. The IT sector is in a
unique position to act as a catalyst for this change. By
implementing simple efficiencies, the sector can reduce its
carbon footprint – which currently is virtually the same size
as that of the aviation industry. Crucially, the IT sector can
play a major role in helping us all move to a low-carbon
future by reducing the need for travel and enhancing
Despite this potential for change, the IT sector has been
surprisingly slow to address the issue of climate change. It
is for this reason that the charity I founded, Global Action
Plan, established the Environmental IT Leadership Team
(EILT) – a unique advisory group consisting of major IT
users seeking to make the use of IT more efficient. The first
product of the EILT was a research report An Inefficient
Truth which was launched at the end of 2007 at the House
An Inefficient Truth illustrated the environmental impact of
IT and the energy, security and supply issues associated
with the huge growth within the sector. It explored the level
of understanding that IT managers have around
environmental issues and the challenges that they face
internally, from vendors and from Government, in
introducing more carbon-efficient policies. The report
provided some practical examples demonstrating how a
small number of organisations are starting to make a real
difference in addressing this issue.
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