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espite the growing list of business driversfor green IT, organisations have oftenprioritised short-term cost cutting overdeveloping longer-term greener strategies- without considering if they are related to one another.However, spiralling energy costs combined with thedemand for greater financial transparency and morestringent statutory requirements have formed a catalystto change attitudes towards green IT. From the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to the CopenhagenClimate Summit of 2009, there has been a concerteddrive to force organisations to take decisive action to reduce their environmental impact. Governmentprogrammes and legislation inevitably combine carrotsand sticks to encourage organisations to achievecarbon dioxide (CO2) efficiency targets. In the UK, thegovernment has announced ambitious regulatorytargets to reduce carbon emissions, following theintroduction of its CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.Introduced in April 2010 the scheme, formerlypackaged as the Carbon Reduction Commitment,encompasses the monitoring, measurement andreporting of carbon emissions as well as the buying andselling of carbon emission allowances. The CRC scheme is aiming to improve energy efficiencyand reduce the amount of CO2emitted in the UK. Thisregulatory requirement is seen as vital to achieving thegovernment's targets of reducing greenhouse gasemissions by 2050 by at least 80 per cent compared to1990 levels. The scheme affects large organisations inboth the public and private sector and organisationsthat meet the qualification criteria, which are based onhow much electricity they were supplied in 2008, mustparticipate in the scheme. Although in its infancy, this"green tax" has refocused organisations' attention onlowering their carbon emissions.In contrast, the French government, with its wealth ofcarbon-free nuclear powered electricity, has beencomparatively slow to take measures to promptorganisations to adopt "green" IT measures, electinginstead to encourage them to recycle their IT hardwarethrough the Ordi 2.0 programme. However, theanalysts Ovum point out that the French have moved touse a ?4.5billion grand emprunt ("big loan") financialstimulus package to drive the country's broadbandcapabilities and push for a smart-grid initiative,encouraging companies to develop an "internet ofthings". This would see household devices such asfridges, cars and other smart devices connectingwirelessly and sharing information such as their carbon footprint. Although a sizeable proportion of this stimulus package is going towards drivinginfrastructure development, no explicit green ITprojects have been funded.The European Union (EU) has also been active inencouraging organisations to use green IT to reducetheir environmental impact. Although voluntary, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)encourages organisations to manage their impact onthe environment and report their progress in public.Similarly, the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) obliges emitters of large amounts of CO2withinthe EU to monitor and report their emissions. GREEN IT IS BACK ON THE AGENDAGovernment policies, such as the CRC EnergyEfficiency Scheme, have compelled largerorganisations to divert their attention from merelyfocusing on cost cutting initiatives in order to survivethe economic downturn. Faced with the threat of being fined if they fail to take proactive measures GREEN IT: HAS THE FUTUREFINALLY ARRIVED?088INNOVATION TECHNOLOGYDDEAN DICKINSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR (PUBLIC SECTOR & ENTERPRISE), ADVANCED BUSINESS SOLUTIONS?