A report released last week by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has criticised government attempts to go green, saying that current measures will do little to offset the carbon footprint.
The Green Office Procurement and Sustainable Office Management Report reviewed the $26 billion per year the Federal Government spends on procuring services (including ICT) and on administration, finding there is still “considerable scope to reduce the ecological footprint”.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is quoted in the report: “The Government accepts its own responsibility to provide practical leadership… with practical measures to reduce our own environmental footprint and measures to harness savings from more efficient use of energy and water”.
ANAO suggests agencies focus on developing a realistic environmental management system (EMS) to provide “cohesive management elements that an organisation may use to provide information on, and set priorities for, minimizing its impact on the environment”.
Late last year (“Environment Department to Deliver Greener IT”, August 11 2008), DEWHA signaled its intentions to implement green requirements in its IT procurement processes. One of the first agencies to do so, it recommended other agencies follow suit, but this has not yet been mandated.