Fujitsu NZ ICT Sustainability Benchmark Report
Fujitsu NZ ICT Sustainability Benchmark Report Reveals Marked Decline since 2012 Report
- ICT’s impact on the environment is predicted to account for up to 10% of global emissions by 2020
- In the last two years the NZ public sector fell from best to worst performing industry
- Out of the gloom, NZ’s Meridian Energy achieved global best practice
- Report provides a practical guide for building the ICT sustainability business case
Wellington, 17 September 2014 – Fujitsu has launched the findings of its New Zealand ICT Sustainability Benchmark Report on Tuesday 16 September at the Sustainable Business Council offices in conjunction with event sponsor Hewlett-Packard New Zealand. At the event, ICT sustainability experts from Fujitsu and Meridian Energy, as well as New Zealand government and industry representatives, looked at the pivotal role ICT could be playing in identifying efficiencies and reducing global emissions.
The Benchmark Report takes a critical, whole-of-system view into key areas of the ICT supply chain, from Lifecycle Management, the Data Centre, End User Computing and Metrics, to how ICT energy use is measured and managed. The model also integrates Technology Enablement - an exciting emerging area that assesses how technology is being used to support other parts of the business and in other industries.
Lee Stewart, Head of Sustainability ANZ at Fujitsu, said: “Unfortunately this Report shows that ICT driven sustainability in New Zealand has declined in all areas over the past two years. We believe Corporates and Government need to take urgent action and bring the IT and Environment teams together to provide businesses with a powerful platform for success in ICT sustainability.”
The study revealed that, with the exception of NZ’s Heavy Industry, all sectors surveyed scored well below global best practice. While there has been a marked decline in focus on ICT Sustainability across all sectors, the disappointing performance of Government and Wholesale / Retail / Logistics - with scores falling well below 25 points on the ICT Sustainability Index (ITSx) – dragged New Zealand’s ITSx to record lows.
The Report also identified a number of areas where the technology units within public and private sector organisations need to focus their attention. It provides a practical guide with helpful tips, expert advice and ‘quick win’ strategies that businesses can start today to achieve both improved efficiency and competitive gains. Being proactive in tracking ICT energy usage, having appropriate systems in place, and leveraging Technology Enablement are the primary initiatives required to benefit from potential gains in sustainability.
Some New Zealand corporations are, however, producing excellent results. While the minimum ITSx score was measured at 11.6, the survey revealed one New Zealand company – Meridian Energy – has achieved global best practice with a score of 80.
At the briefing in Wellington, Glen McLatchie, General Manager ICT at Meridian, described the process his team went through to achieve buy-in from the company’s executive and, ultimately, best practice, in a program implementation supported by Fujitsu.
The event, presented by the New Zealand Sustainable Business Council, was a masterclass in building a business case for sustainability initiatives, including energy efficiency across ICT.
In launching the Report, Penny Nelson, Executive Director at Sustainable Business Council, said: “Fujitsu is to be congratulated for investing in this invaluable research, and for including responses from New Zealand. This is a rare opportunity for local enterprises to be able to benchmark their activities against global counterparts. The Report encourages our industries to lift the bar. It shines the spotlight on what needs to be done and promotes areas of excellence. This initiative should be compulsory reading for every CIO in the country.”
The New Zealand ICT Sustainability Benchmark Report findings
One startling fact emerges from a comparison with the 2012 Report. From the eight countries surveyed two years ago, New Zealand was the global leader in the Government sector with an ITSx score of 60.0. Fast-forward two years and Government and its score has reduced by more than a third to 38.0. These results indicate a significant decline in focus on ICT sustainability and an array of missed opportunities on the part of Government that would not only improve the environmental impact of ICT but also contribute to significant savings in ICT energy costs. The key area of concern is the score of 19.3 in Metrics for the Government sector.
Lee Stewart said: “This is one of the lowest sector scores in the history of our benchmarking and represents a missed opportunity on the part of New Zealand’s public sector. Clearly the focus on ICT power consumption in terms of measurement, monitoring or controls has declined over the last two years.”
On a positive, greener note
Heavy Industry leads the way with an average score of 53.2, well above the national average of 39.3. As a sector, Heavy Industry is characterised by high energy use and related costs, as well as being subject to consistent environmental compliance. It is highly attuned to both energy and environmental impacts and motivated to reduce these wherever possible.
Broader positivity can be seen in where the easy opportunities are for improvement. The area that scored the lowest across the survey - Metrics (at 24.2) - is the one that can produce rapid results for little or no cost to businesses. Improvements in this area have the capacity to lift the total ITSx score and improve overall corporate sustainability performance.
Lee Stewart said: “Simply put, ‘what gets measured gets managed’ and what gets managed gets results. Metrics has the capacity to help NZ firms identify opportunities and cost saving initiatives across the remaining four indices and subsequently improve all future scores.”
Metrics initiatives involve understanding ICT’s energy use by implementing basic power management and using standards such as Energy Star and EPEAT.
The use of teleconferencing to reduce travel and smart meters for energy monitoring are two modest examples of ICT Technology Enablement. These are quick win changes that can reduce environmental load, all while enabling business to harness significant competitive benefits.
Harnessing the power of ICT to benefit all
With population growth, unconstrained greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss and food scarcity, we are fast reaching the critical tipping point that will put our current way of life and our future society at risk. Adding fuel to the fire is the growth of ICT.
The proliferation of smart mobile devices, data and our incessant need to be connected 24/7 have resulted in the ICT industry undergoing exponential growth in recent years, and there are no signs of it slowing. It is estimated that ICT as an industry is responsible for around 3 percent of the world’s total global emissions. To put these figures in perspective, ICT’s emissions are comparable to those of the total global aviation industry or the total annual emissions of New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia combined. Given current growth rates, experts predict total emissions will rise to between 6-10 percent by 2020. ICT’s impact on the environment is of growing concern.
Lee Stewart concluded: “As advances in technology grow stronger by the minute, so does our capacity to help bridge the gap between ICT and sustainability. For our part, Fujitsu has a global mission to provide a ‘Human Centric Society’: to harness the power of ICT to benefit society as a whole. We see it as our obligation to reduce and ultimately reverse our sector’s current 3 percent share of emissions and play a pivotal role in driving down the remaining 97 percent through ICT enabling technology.”
Notes for Editors
About the New Zealand Sustainable Business Council
The SBC is a CEO-led group of companies that catalyses the New Zealand business community to play a leading role in creating a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. See www.sbc.org.nz.
About the New Zealand ICT Sustainability Benchmark Report
Sponsored by Fujitsu, this Report provides valuable insights into the performance of ICT Sustainability in New Zealand across various industry sectors.
The New Zealand Report is a result of responses from 75 CIOs and Senior ICT Managers across New Zealand, collected through online surveys and interviews between March and July 2014. Results were compared against those from 2012.
The research uses a unique methodology developed by Connection Research and RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. It quantifies ICT Sustainability implementation to determine the maturity of practices and technologies in end user organisations. The Report summarises responses to questions covering ICT Sustainability policies, behaviour and technologies collected via an online survey of CIOs and ICT Managers in large IT-using organisations. Responses are weighted to deliver a score out of 100 in each of the five ICT Sustainability Index components, aggregated to determine the overall ICT Sustainability Index (ITSx) for each organisation, ensuring quantitative comparisons between respondents.