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software companies to invest in the ongoingdevelopment and marketing of green applications. On the flipside, for organisations to invest in greenapplications such as Green XML, they need to beconvinced that they would be able to effectivelytransact with other businesses via the same (or asimilar) software platform. If a company invests inGreen XML but none of its customers and suppliersuse this type of technology, it is technologicallyisolating. The widespread use of green applications istherefore key for businesses to properly recognise thevalue of investing in such software systems.The only viable solution to this deadlock is for theGovernment to create the right environment for greenapplications to flourish. Without resolute Governmentaction, the software industry will only ever be able totiptoe around the green applications market andbusinesses will be without the vital softwareinfrastructure needed to support sustainable workingand, ultimately, a strong green economy.CREATING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT FOR GREENAPPLICATIONS TO FLOURISHAn environment needs to be created which givessoftware vendors the confidence to invest in theongoing development and marketing of greenapplications and which, at the same time, givesorganisations a compelling reason to purchase theseapplications. Therefore, supply and demand needs tobe addressed in parallel.Although the Government is addressing the issue ofsustainability, there is an overall lack of enforcement,with the Government favouring sustainabilityrecommendations and guidelines rather thanmandates. This is making it extremely difficult for theUK to create a green economy (supported by a greensoftware infrastructure) and the creation of such aneconomy is vital if the statutory emissions target, as laiddown by The Climate Change Act 2008, is to be met. The introduction of "Greening Government ICT" hasbeen a positive step forward, delivering a roadmap ofhow Government bodies and other public sectororganisations can reduce the carbon footprint of theirinformation and communication technologies. Theoutcome has been encouraging, reducing carbonemissions by over 12,000 tonnes in the first year.However, as Greening Government ICT is more of a strategy document and is only applicable to thepublic sector, it has failed to deliver a powerful driverfor change. It appears that the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme isthe only truly enforceable Government measure thathas been introduced, requiring (certain) organisationsINNOVATION 064TECHNOLOGYBelow:Dean Dickinson(left) and Jairo Rojas(right) to monitor and report on their carbon emissions fromelectricity, gas and static fuel consumption with a viewto bringing about reductions. The fact that this schemeis compulsory is an encouraging sign. However, it onlyaffects the 20,000 largest organisations in the UK,which is a small drop in the ocean.PRACTICAL STEPS TOWARDS A GREEN ECONOMYA vital step forward is for Government to introducemandatory sustainability regulations for all types oforganisation (apart from the very small) which enforceenvironmental measurement and reporting in additionto year-on-year reductions of CO2 and (in time)embedded water. If the majority of UK organisationsare forced to review the sustainability of theirbusinesses and report on their environmental impact,this will create the foundation for a green economy.These mandates should also be coupled with clear

INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY065" "IT IS IMPERATIVETHAT THE GOVERNMENT ANDTHE SOFTWARE INDUSTRY WORKTOGETHER TOPROVIDE THE CORRECT ENVIRONMENTAND THE RIGHT INFRASTRUCTURETO ALLOW BUSINESSES TOOPERATE SUSTAINABLYgreen applications with Government grants or taxbreaks is also strongly advised in addition to financialincentives to green software providers. Alongside this needs to be acknowledgement byGovernment of the crucial role software applicationsplay in effecting a green economy. Government needsto publicly back the implementation of greenapplications across UK industry. This will ultimatelylead to a more regulated "green applications" industryso that only those software systems that meet certaincriteria can be given the 'green' stamp of approval.However, this is a regulatory road that most softwareproviders will be more than happy to travel down as thebenefits will far outweigh the negatives.CONCLUSIONThe effective transition to a low-carbon economy isrequired if the UK is to get anywhere near its carbonreduction target as outlined in the Climate Change Act.However, successfully achieving a green economywithout an effective green software infrastructure inplace is impossible. It is imperative that theGovernment and the software industry work together toprovide the correct environment and the rightinfrastructure to allow businesses to operatesustainably. Without this partnership approach, the"chicken and egg" situation that currently exists willbe perpetuated and the biggest loser will, once again,be our dying planet. nABOUT THE AUTHORSDean Dickinson is the Managing Director of AdvancedBusiness Solutions, formerly COA Solutions. He hasbeen in the finance software business since 1990. Mr Dickinson is a specialist in consultancy and has a strong knowledge of business processes within ahigh volume/high value environment. AdvancedBusiness Solutions provides leading integratedbusiness applications and services thatenable public, private and third sector organisationsto retain control, improve visibility and gainefficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Jairo Rojas was appointed to the position of directorgeneral of BASDA in February 2008 after significantexperience of working with both large IT corporations,and small start-up organisations. He has wideexperience in senior channel management roles andis used to leading, motivating and guiding teams ofdiverse talents to achieve the required results. Mr Rojas has been a strong supporter of 'Green'initiatives for BASDA, helping develop the BASDAGreen Charter, and with the members' Green SpecialInterest Group promoting Green XML to UK and EU governments.financial penalties for organisations that fail to comply with sustainability legislation. The introductionof financial incentives for those organisations thatreach low levels of carbon production are also needed alongside reputational incentives, such as a"kite mark" given to all organisations proven to operate sustainably. Carbon trading is already part of the CRC EnergyEfficiency Scheme but it is currently paying lip-serviceto the issue of sustainability. Carbon trading needs tobe rolled-out to all businesses across the UK and then(ideally) worldwide, so that it becomes a commonmeans of transacting between businesses. Only thenwill a true green economy be born. Underlying all this is software - a key enabler to a greeneconomy. The Government needs to work closely withthe software industry to ensure that cost-effectivegreen software applications which enable businessesto comply with Government legislation are readilyavailable. Providing organisations looking to invest in