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Public Sector: Computers

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to encourage (a) thin computing and (b) environmentally-friendly computing practices in the public sector. (250068)

I have been asked to reply.

DEFRA carefully considered the promotion of ‘thin’ clients, which are centrally managed computers with most of the function of the system located in a central server room. However, evidence to date has shown that the increased electricity consumption of these server rooms (e.g. through the air conditioning needed to cool the room) renders this technology less attractive than previously thought from an energy efficiency perspective.

The Government’s “Greening ICT Strategy” published last year sets out a strategy for reducing the environmental impact of Government’s computer systems. One of their main aims is to make the energy consumption of our ICT systems carbon neutral by 2012. We also mandated a set of minimum environmental standards for commonly-purchased products, including ICT.