UK businesses aware of Green IT potential

Recycling and waste management is the top green initiative adopted by European businesses, with the UK leading the way.

According to a white paper by BEA, 72 per cent of UK organisations viewed recycling and waste management as their top green priority, with Italy following on 69 per cent and Spain and Portugal on 67 per cent.

Compared to other countries in Europe, UK businesses were also quite advanced when it came to measuring its carbon footprint. The research said that 70 per cent of UK organisations were planning to measure or already measuring their carbon footprints, second only to Belgium.

"The UK is a little bit different to the other European countries," said Martin Percival, senior technology evangelist at BEA. "None of the other countries have a real people power thing going on where employees are pushing companies to become more green."

UK businesses did not like the idea of appointing a job role specifically to manage green initiatives (A Green Czar). Although 20 per cent of businesses in Europe had somebody in this type of role, only 3 per cent of UK companies had one.

"Companies have finally got to the point where they are realising that they can hold the high moral ground in green issues, but also save themselves money," said Percival.

"That's a combination made in heaven really. Businesses can do it for selfish reasons but also send out the marketing that they are doing it for all the right reasons.

"That's quite a cynical view, but it's very rare that you can get two things heading in the right direction."

The survey also asked respondents about virtualisation, which had the potential in enabling 'green data centres' by doing things like reducing the volume of servers and energy usage.

The proportion of UK organisations aware of virtualisation technology was between two and three times higher than in places like Germany and the Netherlands.