Firms not living up to green aspirations, survey finds

Businesses might be talking the talk when it comes to environmental issues, but many of them are failing to walk the walk, according to new research.

The first annual Environmental IT Survey, run by website hosting company iomart and Green IT Magazine, found that more than 90% of IT managers and directors rated the environment as an important factor in their business.

But nearly two-thirds of those questioned admitted their organisations did not have any kind of green policy.

Of more than 3,000 people questioned, 66% said they believed the IT department could save the company money and improve its green performance.

But a staggering 95% admitted they had never seen the company’s utility bills or were not responsible for them.

Angus McSween, CEO of iomart, said: “There seems to be a real contradiction within the IT industry.

“Most IT managers and directors say they are concerned about the environment but very few have taken the time to formulate a green policy or scrutinise where technology costs figure on their company’s electricity bills.

“It is a dilemma we as an industry have to address, and soon, but we have to take responsibility for our own energy use if anything is going to change.”

The survey also revealed that although IT professionals say the environment is a priority for their business, when it comes to buying IT equipment, cost is five times more important.

Almost half care about the cost when purchasing new equipment compared to just 8% who would prioritise environmental impact.

But manufacturers came under fire, as many blamed them for failing to supply enough green products. Two-thirds said there were not enough on the market and 72% said they thought manufacturers’ claims were greenwash.

Mr MacSween said: “There is clearly a trust issue which has to be overcome. Even when the will is there, businesses need to be confident that technology in which they invest will deliver the environmental benefits they’re looking for.”

Kate Martin

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