Implementing more digital systems in government has led to a reduction in cost and carbon emissions, according to the latest green government ICT report.
To have greener IT and to use technology to help departments’ operations be more sustainable overall, the move to cloud-based, commodity, reusable and digital-by-default services provides opportunities.
Departments can take part in an assessment of their green IT efforts, and receive scores of between one and five according to the level of sustainability of their daily IT services under the government's Greening Government IT Strategy, which was launched in 2011.
Level one represents a foundation level of sustainability, level two embedded, level three practiced, level four enhanced and level five denotes leadership in sustainable IT services.
With the NHS dropping out of the process, 16 government departments had their green IT “maturity model” assessed during 2014.
80% or more of government departments reached level three for a number of the assessed areas, including travel reduction, energy optimization and information and data management.
The GDU report highlighted how the government’s digital push has helped to improve data processing, storage and access.
This included the Government Digital Service’s (GDS) digital-by-default programme, which has led to sustainable digital systems being adopted.
Equating to an average of 324kWh per person per year, assessment of the government departments' green efforts revealed a fall in energy consumption.
Departments have also reduced paper usage and travel through their digital efforts, including the installation of 500 video-conferencing systems and an increase in collaborative working tools.