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Defra publishes guidance on green IT procurement

11 September 2013

The UK’s Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) is setting out best practice guidelines for public sector organisations to procure energy efficient datacentre and cloud hosting services. This evolution has been prompted by the increase in the use of online services by government departments, in their interaction with the public and with other public sector bodies.

In the Greening Government: ICT Annual Report 2013, published by Defra, the successes among government departments are highlighted. These include the installation of an advanced cooling system by the Home Office which will save 428 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, and the Department for International Development's investment in new, more energy efficient laptops and PCs.

The report highlights that there is much still to be done in making public sector IT in the UK efficient and sustainable. One area of concern is in procurement, where “establishing fair and useful measures of environmental impacts and potential whole life costs” has been a challenging process to implement.

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