Only a quarter of UK organisations consider IT sustainability a top priority

UK IT sustainability

These companies did not prioritise IT sustainability beyond compulsory reports and regulatory requirements.

Additionally, only a third (37%) said that they measure greenhouse gas emissions created by the devices of employees.

While 70% of companies in the telecoms sector confirmed that this was being measured, only 43% of those in technology, 40% in local government, 19% in healthcare and 15% in utilities could say the same.

These figures come despite the majority (60%) of large UK businesses declaring a specific corporate social responsibility (CSR) or sustainability strategy in place for IT.

Michelle Senecal de Fonseca, area vice-president, Northern Europe at Citrix, said: “Anthropogenic interference has already caused a 1° C rise in global temperature. With no time to lose, every business in every industry must think about how they can reduce carbon emissions, improve sustainability and embrace greener practices by default.

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“With digital technologies having an unprecedented impact on the workplace, organisations should review their existing IT infrastructure and evaluate its efficiency. They will soon realise they can cut their impact on the environment by transitioning workloads from less efficient on-premises data centres and migrating to hyperscale hosted cloud services.

“However, embracing a more flexible working culture — underpinned by the cloud — will likely have the most far-reaching consequences. The ability to work anywhere and from any device means lower commuting emissions and the freedom to work from devices that consume up to 90% less energy than a standard PC, such as a Google Chromebook or Apple laptop.

“By embracing this kind of approach UK businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, while benefiting from happier staff and improved productivity.”

In regards to measuring the usage of electricity consumption from end user devices, 55% said that they measured the usage of devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets and notebooks.

A further 59%, meanwhile, said that they measured the electricity consumption of their IT data centres.

Impact and responsibility

Among management up to the C-Suite within large UK businesses, 31% believe that IT departments have more impact on carbon emission reduction than any other department.

In terms of which role is most frequently held responsible for reporting on IT electricity consumption, 93% of chief technology officers (CTOs) and 83% of chief information officers (CIOs) said that this duty falls on them.

For chief financial officers (CFOs), meanwhile, 88% are responsible for monitoring IT use related to greenhouse gas emissions, while 78% are responsible for performance measurements relating to IT sustainability, such as key performance indicators (KPIs), and other goals.


48% of UK decision makers said that budget constraints prove to be a barrier to building a more sustainable IT model.

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Meanwhile, a lack of time was cited by 33%, a lack of board support by 21%, and employee pushback by 20%.

Citrix surveyed 500 UK-based managerial position holders up to C-suite level within organisations with at least 250 employees.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.