WRITTEN ON February 29th, 2008 BY William Heath AND STORED IN Greener government IT

Peter Blair from DCLG writes to say

I just wanted to draw everyone’s attention to a study report published by my department in the UK last month, which shows that encouraging more citizens to carry out business with Government online helps to reduce carbon emissions from service delivery operations – far outweighing any negative impact from increased IT server capacity.

The report is a world-first in e-government terms, in that it focuses attention on quantitative carbon reduction, rather than fashionable ‘green-washing’ about environmental performance. Not least, increasing citizen understanding of carbon emissions demands the communication of real ‘green’ facts.

Identifying new areas where CO2 emissions can be reduced is also a democratic concept. To paraphrase a recent statement by the UK Environment Secretary, David Miliband, “A ton of carbon dioxide emitted in the delivery of government services is as threatening as a ton of carbon dioxide emitted in the aviation industry”.

The report is also actively influencing current UK debate around ‘Green IT’ amongst IT managers in local government, away from a passive stance whereby the IT profession is portrayed as “a bad CO2 polluter which can get better”, towards a proactive stance of “you’re not green unless e-business is a corporate priority”.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded free of charge at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgo…

What do others think of these findings? Will this world-first quantitative study help in reappraising the position of e-government within the green agenda?

Many thanks Peter; I missed that, and it seems very pertinent.

The press release is here.

2 Responses to “E-government is greener, study shows”

Dave Birch wrote on March 1st, 2008 6:16 pm :

If we want to be greener, we need to travel less. Perhaps the solution is to make people apply for a visa when traveling from one part of the country to another. Fortunately, we may soon have a simple mechanism for doing this as, giving evidence to the (House of Commons) Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Meg Hillier, Minister for ID cards, said we should see the cards as “passports in-country”.

dreamingspire wrote on March 2nd, 2008 1:37 pm :

The link to the report is:
– if that fails to pass through the blog system, its /publications /localgovernment /carbonefficiencies. The link to the Press release doesn’t work, and the CLG web site is really rather impenetrable – it feels like one of those sites designed by a librarian on the assumption that you know EXACTLY what it is that you want by section, title, date… I could not find the Press Release in the list, so has it been pulled?

Has CLG at last begun to get a grip? The ODPM put a lot of effort into e-gov methods, but CLG ignored it, although it has given out funding to LAs for ineffective organisations such as NWeGG and LeGSB who also ignore previous work.