UK Government Offices To Become Carbon-Neutral By 2020

In a focused effort to address the issue of Global Warming, UK government has formally announced that its computer systems will become carbon-neutral by 2020, by adopting several green IT measures.

In its recent report named ‘Green Government ICT’, UK government’s Cabinet Office has stated that IT is identified as one of the major contributors of carbon emissions, responsible for almost 20 percent of total 460,000 tonnes.

Mentioning the significance of the move, UK’s Cabinet Office Minister stated that the damage done by IT industry is at par with the airline industry, and UK government is first to proclaim its strategy to curb carbon emissions in upcoming period.

The roadmap can be bifurcated into short-term and long-term goals; former includes neutralising IT carbon consumption by 2012, whereas the latter ensures carbon-neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of IT products, from its manufacture to disposal, by 2020.

However, carbon-neutrality is a vague concept, and Cabinet Office hasn’t defined it anywhere in its report.

The strategy contains 18 guidelines, which are to be implemented by the government in its ICT offices with immediate effect.

‘Switching monitors to stand-by after five minutes of inactivity’, ‘turning-off computers after working hours’, ‘recycling the redundant yet serviceable computers’ ‘use of low-power and low-voltage servers’- are amongst some of the key steps to be taken by the government.

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