ICT sustainability performance needs to shape up: Report

Australia is behind the global average in IT departments taking responsibility for their organisations’ ICT energy consumption.

Australia seems to be lagging behind the rest of the world in its ICT sustainability performance, a new report has revealed.

The ICT Sustainability: The Global Benchmark 2012 Report, commissioned by Fujitsu, surveyed 200 Australian CIOs and senior IT managers and found that Australia has the second lowest IT Sustainability Index score of 50.1 compared to Canada (55.7), China (49.7), India (51.2), Japan (53.0), New Zealand (50.8), the UK (53.1) and the USA (57.3).

This year’s score has continued to drop from last year’s score of 52.8 and from 53.9 in 2010, showing a continued decline in ICT sustainability performance.

Also, every industry’s IT Sustainability Index score dropped this this year compared to 2011. The professional services sector dropped 48.4 this year from 54.8 in 2011, which was the largest decline out of all the industry sectors.

Alison Rowe, Fujitsu global executive director of Sustainability and International Business, said the decline in performance shows there is “apathy” when it comes to organisations taking a proactive approach to ICT sustainability, and so they need to put in place monitoring and real-time measurements of their ICT energy consumption.

“Don’t just measure ICT energy consumption: disaggregate it, understand it, manage it in real-time and set key performance indicators that drive organisation-wide improvements to the bottom line," Rowe said.

"I urge executive teams to use the value from this benchmark study to help build the business case for ICT sustainability initiatives to be used as a key component for improvement in overall financial performance.”

According to the report, the number of Australian IT departments taking responsibility for their organisations’ ICT energy consumption has risen to 8.7 per cent from less than 1 per cent in 2011. However, Australia is still not meeting the global average of 23.1 per cent, the report said.

Rowe is hopeful that the decline in performance will change in the next year. With the carbon tax now in effect, she said more organisations will be spurred on to think more carefully about their ICT energy consumption.

“If we look at this next year I’m certainly hoping there will be a big difference, and the carbon price has given an increased focus around the opportunities to make a significant difference from an efficiency point of view and a cost point of view.”

Follow Rebecca Merrett on Twitter: @Rebecca_Merrett

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