How Public Sector Organizations can meet their Carbon Footprint targets

The UK Government’s new Procurement Policy Note (PPN) of 06/21 sets out its carbon reduction plans in the procurement of major government contracts, in alignment with the ‘Net Zero’ target – which aims for at least a 100% reduction in the net UK carbon account by the year 2050. As well as adhering to this new policy, public sector organizations need to be aware of the wider significance of managing their carbon emissions. The G7 summit made it clear that sustainability must be a priority, and it is likely that in the future, organizations will struggle to get business in either Europe or the US without a clear commitment to carbon neutrality.

Meeting these carbon reduction targets requires an organization-wide approach. For IT departments, there are several different factors to consider if they are to uphold their organization’s sustainability goals. They must tackle two questions: first, how big is their carbon footprint currently; and second, how can they reduce it?

To answer the first, organizations will need to undertake a large-scale analysis of all the software and hardware they are using in order to identify their IT carbon emissions. This in itself can prove a time-consuming and costly endeavor, but a necessary one if organizations are to successfully commit to the new PPN and broader global sustainability goals.

Once they have calculated their IT carbon footprint, public sector organizations will then need to find ways to reduce it – weighing up sustainability with other factors such as cost and performance. This requires further research into, for example, different IT providers, to discover which devices are the most energy efficient.

Finally, organizations need to plan for and implement all necessary changes and improvements. During this process, there will naturally be many different factors for each organization to consider, depending on the scale of both their current carbon footprint, and the work needed to reduce it.  

 

How Livingstone Group can help 

Planning

Livingstone Group’s IT Asset Management (ITAM) services can help organizations with what may otherwise be a lengthy and costly journey to ‘Green IT’, by providing tailored, evidence-based recommendations for a carbon reduction plan. Based on our own research, we can provide a report from an IT infrastructure perspective, regarding:

  1. How much electricity an organization’s devices, servers, and data centers are consuming
  2. What technical debt there is currently, and
  3. Which procurement patterns will result in better performance, cost control and a reduction in carbon footprint.

This information is invaluable in forming an effective carbon reduction plan.


Research

Our tailored services for sustainability in IT are made possible by the thorough research we undertake, and the information and data we have already collected as a result of our other ITAM services when working with an organization, such as licensing and contract optimization and cloud and software consumption visibility.

In order to reduce IT carbon emissions, our research might look into how much energy each device at an organization consumes based on brand, age, and location of device. All of these factors can impact carbon footprint – for example, an older device may be far less energy efficient than a newer one. Livingstone also has access to split values, so we can analyze how much energy is consumed in the manufacture of a device, compared to how much is consumed in its usage. It is important for organizations to be able to account for both in order to ensure they are being as energy efficient as possible.


Recommendations

Based on all the data gathered on an organization’s technology, hardware, software & cloud usage – collected via our Hub platform – we then provide tailored recommendations, such as which device provider is the best fit for an organization’s carbon footprint goals – while always keeping in mind their wider ITAM goals and requirements for compliance, contract, consumption and control.

We also consider organizations’ broader IT usage, such as the use of data centers, and make recommendations based on findings there too. For example, our research may show that an organization would benefit from a consolidation or virtualization approach – moving more processing onto a smaller number of machines in order to save both energy and associated running costs overall.

Organizations may also wish to consider moving their infrastructure over to the cloud, as cloud service providers have their own sustainability targets. Organizations would just need to ensure that their sustainability agenda is aligned with that of the provider.

 

For more information on the new PPN and how to prepare your organization to meet carbon footprint goals, please get in touch with our team here. We also provide Public Sector services through Lot 1 of the CCS’ Technology Services 3 procurement framework.  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Justin Venables, Head of Group Operational Effectiveness

Justin is a leader with over 20 years experience in various management and consulting roles in technology. Currently he is Head of Group Operational Effectiveness at Livingstone Group, and specialize in software and cloud optimization, software Asset Management and IT Asset Management. Justin has held prior senior leadership roles at various organizations including Microsoft, Deloitte, IBM and Netcare.

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