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Government still not doing enough in green IT

The UK government has published its 2014 Annual Green Government ICT Report (opens in new tab), revealing that it believes much progress has been made, but there is still more to be done.

The document is the third of its type and forms a part of the four-year Greening Government IT Strategy (opens in new tab) introduced in 2011.

According to Whitehall, there have been major changes in the government’s approach to technology and digital services since the Strategy was published and these are “entirely consistent” with driving improved sustainability for government technology.

“The move to cloud-based, commodity, re-useable and digital by default services, provides opportunities to have greener IT and to use technology to help Departments’ operations to be more sustainable overall,” the report claims.

It adds that the inclusion of the “ensure best sustainability practices, whether in-house or via external suppliers, including compliance with Greening Technology” clause in the Government Digital Service (GDS) Technology Code of Practice represents the government’s commitment.

The document records the progress that is said to have been made over the past twelve months, such as all central Departments, along with many arms-length bodies, providing assessments of progress towards achieving a Level 3 for the Green ICT Maturity of our Technology Services.

The Green ICT Delivery Unit has also received a comprehensive return of assessments for the energy consumed by Departmental technology estates.

Paper A Problem

Besides acknowledging progress already made, the report sets out where government needs to improve.

Areas that could use work improve print management, the move towards paperless, meet the requirements of the Green Strategy under budget constraints and the assessment of whether cloud can be called “green or not.”

“While we have come a long way, there remain significant opportunities and challenges in weaving sustainability through the changes underway to modernise government, or use cloud services through central frameworks and to digitise customer services, while managing resources and improving the way we work,” the progress document claims.