Over a third of IT executives (42%) say their firm does not monitor its IT-related energy spending and a further 9% don’t know if their firm monitors this, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
But of those firms that do monitor it, about one in four (24%) have seen their energy consumption increase over the past two years.
The EIU report –IT and the environment: a new item on the CIO's agenda? – also shows that although there is high visibility of environmental issues in organisations, few have anything approaching a cohesive strategy for dealing with it from an IT perspective.
However, the report’s authors say that rising energy costs and IT's growing demand for power is likely to put energy concerns higher on the agenda.
"Although concerns about energy efficiency and global warming are now high on the political agenda, the spotlight has not yet been turned onto the IT function," said James Watson, the report's editor. "This survey suggests that few firms have woken up to the fact that their IT infrastructure is already responsible for a significant proportion of their total energy costs."
More than half of executives (54%) polled agree that their firm does not measure the environmental impact of its IT systems and policies – and just 33% say they do. But in part this is due to the lack of visibility about the issue: 64% agree that an industry standard on energy efficiency on IT equipment would cause them to change their procurement policies.
Other key findings from the report include only 45% of firms having a programme in place to reduce their carbon footprint – and of those that do the majority (52%) have no specific targets for it. Only a small core (9%) aim to be carbon neutral by 2012.
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