The Greening Government Commitments were published in March 2011 and outlined how the Government would respond to David Cameron's challenge to be the "Greenest Government ever". The Greening Government ICT Strategy, published in October 2011, describes how government ICT will contribute to those commitments and deliver financial savings in addition to efficient green practices.

Aims of the strategy The strategy falls into two parts:

  1. ICT lifeycycle

The first part of the strategy sets out the approach the Government will take in greening ICT across the lifecycle - for example, from manufacture to disposal and programmes such as data centre consolidation. It emphasises the importance of sharing and reusing resources and infrastructure, and advocates the use of the Government Application Store.

The strategy also encourages the Government to incentivise green practices from its suppliers, for example by considering both financial and green 'total costs of ownership' when comparing tenders and embedding government buying standards in all ICT procurements.

  1. ICT support to Green Government operations The second part examines the role that ICT can play to support the greening of government operations. In particular, although the direct impact of ICT only contributes 2-3% to global emissions, the strategy describes how adopting green ICT practices can help meet the Government's targets for reducing waste generation, water use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2015.

Examples given include: reducing the need for travel; promoting smarter ways of working (such as supporting office space rationalisation); driving changes in behaviour, for example filing documents electronically rather than in hard copy.

Key milestones

The strategy sets out a list of commitments and actions with dates for their achievement. These include the following:

  • Government to implement at least 10 of the 14 actions from the Green ICT Roadmap for each of its departments/agencies by April 2015.
  • Introduction of the measurement or estimate of operational ICT energy consumption for all government departments by April 2014.
  • Government buying standards to be embedded in all new contracts by July 2013.