Green AddICT

Green ICT for business and community


Bristol, United Kingdom
Leader: Barbara Janke

As part of Bristol‟s wider effort to reduce CO2 emissions as a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, the city studied the environmental and financial impact of business-related ICT energy use. As a result, they launched Green AddICT, a programme to encourage organisations to address their carbon footprints through green ICT measures.

“Being a part of The Covenant of Mayors is very important to Bristol. The initiative provides us with a framework to meet an ambitious city-wide target of reducing CO2 by 40% by 2020 – twice the EU target of 20%. It is putting Bristol firmly on the national and European map as a Green Capital, with many businesses and institutions committed to tackling climate change.” Barbara Janke, Leader of Bristol City Council

In 2008, The Carbon Trust funded a study into the carbon footprint of business ICT use in Bristol, the results showed that in 2006 it accounted for 67,258 tonnes of CO2 and a cost of £11 million (€12.5m) per year. In response, the city launched a programme promoting green ICT. The centrepiece of this scheme is a website, www.greenaddict.eu, which acts as a platform for local businesses to share expertise and best practice. The site features „green ICT champions‟ case studies, along with tools such as carbon calculators and a comprehensive „solutions database‟ which allows organisations to design a personalised action plan. Solutions range from the long-term and technical, including replacing desktop computers with laptops and server virtualisation, to the immediate, such as monitoring printer usage and requesting paperless billing.

So far, the website has 24 participating organisations and features 10 green ICT champion case studies. This offers a network of support and advice to other companies interested in tackling their own carbon footprints. The city has also worked with VOSCUR, a voluntary sector agency, to increase the uptake of green ICT in Bristol‟s voluntary and community sector. It also shares green ICT best practice nationally and internationally through a variety “Being a part of The Covenant of Mayors is very important to Bristol. The initiative provides us with a framework to meet an ambitious city-wide target of reducing CO2 by 40% by 2020 – twice the EU target of 20%. It is putting Bristol firmly on the national and European map as a Green Capital, with many businesses and institutions committed to tackling climate change.” Barbara Janke, Leader of Bristol City Council of networks.

“Green ICT is a priority for the city, and the Carbon Trust study confirmed what a huge issue poor management of ICT can be when it comes to the impact on the environment. The programme should bring about substantial improvements in energy efficiency that have the potential to provide visible and convincing showcases for investment,” says councillor Janke. “The Covenant‟s ethos is at the heart of our sustainability goals. Particularly, our newly created Bristol Futures Division combines our digital, green and economic development teams that are well placed collectively to bring about new smarter, greener ways of living and working that will significantly reduce energy use and carbon emissions. There are also plans to widely invest in green technology in the future. The city council is very much committed to the green agenda.”

The project has been led by Connecting Bristol – the City Council‟s digital partnership – with a budget of £50,000 (€57,000), including external funding from the Carbon Trust and the DC10plus network. It aims to highlight the fact that ICT is no longer an environmental challenge but a potential enabler of smarter, more efficient ways of living which will, over time, result in significant carbon emissions reductions as required under the Covenant of Mayors.

Bristol – key facts*:
– England‟s eighth largest city – approx. 441,300 inhabitants
– Energy reduction target of 30% by 2020 compared with 2005 level
– Overall 40% CO2 emission reduction target by 2020 from 2005
– 1 of 8 cities shortlisted for European Green Capital 2010
– Over 17,500 businesses
– Identified as an „innovation hub‟ by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum
*figures from Bristol City Council

As a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, the city of Bristol voluntarily commits itself to reducing its CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020.

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