UK firms struggle with green IT

The UK has come in the bottom of green IT rankings in a survey of 8,000 European IT directors.

Nearly 60 per cent of respondents from UK firms rated their companies negatively, compared with a European average of 40 per cent of respondents who would rate their organisation's green values as "not at all good" or even "poor".

Over a third (37 per cent) of UK respondents said they were actually concerned about their company's energy use and carbon footprint, while 16 per cent said they actively seek to purchase environmentally friendly IT products. This compares similarly to 38 and 15 per cent overall, respectively.

Despite this, respondents from France, Germany, Benelux, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland, as well as the UK acknowledged that energy inefficiency was an issue. Overall, 44 per cent said their companies spend up to a quarter of their total operating expenditure on energy. But in the UK, this figure jumped up to nearly half of the respondents.

Regardless, more than 60 per cent of respondents agreed that this energy spending on energy was "too much".

Ulrich Plechschmidt, Europe, Middle East and Africa vice president of storage networking vendor and survey sponsor Brocade, said: "It is widely acknowledged that IT consumes a large amount of an organisation's energy resources data centres alone use two percent of the world's electricity but business leaders do not need to sit back and let this continue."

Almost two thirds of respondents said they were beginning to look at ways of reducing energy output, led by Germany and trailed by Italy in these stakes.

But even here, another survey has found UK businesses actually implementing more energy conscious IT strategies are struggling to prove tangible results.

Commissioned by IT distributor Bell Micro, the independent research identified the median for energy saved in these UK companies is just 10 per cent.

Out of 350 respondents, those organisations with a green IT policy reported tangible savings almost equally across the small-to-medium sized business (SMB) sector (14 per cent) and large organisations (12 per cent).

Even so, of the 21 per cent of organisations with a green IT policy, only 12 per cent had quantified any energy savings at all. Over a third (19 per cent) still say it is too early to tell and 65 per cent admit they do not know what energy savings have been made, while four per cent admit none had been made yet.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.