How sustainable is ICT?

Fujitsu launched its third global benchmark report today into ICT sustainability maturity. This is a fantastic body of research that allows us to see how sustainability is progressing broadly within ICT departments, in different countries and in different industries.

The report tells us that there are challenges out there; overall Australia’s sustainability maturity is heading backwards. Why? That’s a good question and I’d be really interested to hear peoples thoughts on that. I think my top three would be:

  1. Hype is over: we had a lot of noise about “Green”. Everything and everyone was green for a while back there, even IT departments. Then we’ve learnt that it’s not quite as easy as first thought, projects need to be bedded in and maintained, they have to be part of a change program and can’t just be achieved as a tick in the box exercise.
  2.  ICT departments don’t align their strategy with the broader organisation sustainability strategy. So increased sustainability maturity is a by-product from projects and programs that they are looking to do anyway. This means we miss the opportunity to get maximum value from these projects.
  3. ICT departments are still not accountable for the power bill; while this year’s benchmark report shows that while this is improving, the majority of organisations don’t have visibility of their power bill and are not accountable for energy spend. The stats show that improvement in this metric is closely linked to better overall performance in other areas. So this one is key.

You can find the full report here

Challenges are, as we know, also opportunities. In a time of rising electricity costs, ICT departments can make a contribution to both the bottom line of the organisation as well as to its environmental performance. The Global Benchmark Report shows that many organisations today are achieving best practice and are already reaping the rewards.