I believe that the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector has the potential to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across a huge array of sectors.
Many of Telstra’s services, such as video-conferencing, cloud-computing, and fleet and field force management, can not only help to improve productivity and reduce business costs, but also have the added advantage of helping customers reduce their own environmental impacts through avoided travel, shared data storage and ‘smarter’ logistics.
At Telstra, we are working towards harnessing this potential by working with our customers and suppliers to provide our services as efficiently as possible. Telstra’s first Green IT Management Plan, developed for one of our largest enterprise customers, provides a framework to do just that – from implementing a systematic approach, to setting objectives and targets, developing processes for their achievement, and measuring and reporting the outcomes.
Based on the principle of continual improvement, our plan adopts a life-cycle approach to environmental management. This is achieved through identifying actions to minimise and manage our environmental impacts during five key phases of service delivery:
- Design and architecture of services provided;
- Procurement and purchasing decisions;
- Construction and installation activities;
- Operation of equipment at the customer’s premises and within Telstra’s network; and
- End-of-life equipment return, reuse, recycling and disposal.
As a starting point, we have also developed a baseline carbon footprint, which allows us to understand the contribution of Telstra-supplied equipment to the customer’s overall emissions footprint. This footprint was able to identify the most significant emissions sources by equipment type and site, and provided monthly variations in average emissions.
This information will support our work with the customer over the eight-year life of the contract to integrate Green IT considerations into the services we are delivering. It also helps Telstra to meet our two-fold objectives of reducing our own environmental impacts whilst assisting our customers to do the same.