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Departmental ICT

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the (a) energy consumed by, (b) energy cost of and (c) carbon dioxide emissions from each category of IT device in each division of his Department in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (269556)

In October 2008, an assessment of the Department's information and communications (ICT) infrastructure by the Information Services Division provided estimates of energy consumption and carbon emissions within the categories of information technology device listed in the following table.

Type of device

Annualised estimated energy consumption (kWh)

Estimated annual energy cost (£)

Annualised tonnes of CO2 (includes the effect of Datecentre efficiency)

Servers

1,329,892

138,511

1,350

Desktops

1,609,503

166,423

864

Laptops

300,835

31,106

162

Printers

166,221

17,187

89

Monitors

392,246

40,558

211

Total

3,795,451

392,785

2,676

There has been no survey of the energy and carbon emissions from the ICT estate prior to October 2008. It would incur disproportionate cost to identify the components of the infrastructure and assess energy consumption in the five years prior to the survey. A governance structure is being put into place to ensure that ongoing change in the ICT infrastructure is tracked against a carbon reduction roadmap to meet government targets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to address the effect on levels of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department of its ICT purchases since the publication of the Greening Government ICT Strategy; and if he will make a statement. (269557)

Since the publication of the Greening Government ICT Strategy, the Department has only purchased personal computers, laptops and monitors that meet Energy Star performance criteria and EPEAT environmental criteria. The policy for procurement of these items includes specification of low energy processors and high efficiency power conversion units.

A managed print service has been put in place to reduce the number of printers on the estate and to increase the efficiency of the printing service. This will reduce if not remove the need for new printers over the next two to three years.

A policy is in place to redeploy existing suitable devices before procurement is approved and to extend the life of assets while they continue to meet minimum performance criteria.

A green governance process is being established to ensure that any other new information and communications technology purchase is specified within a framework that ensures the performance of the device or service is optimised to reduce carbon emissions, that existing suitable equipment is redeployed before a new purchase is approved, and that virtualisation technology is used where possible in the solution definition.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average server capacity utilisation by each division of his Department was in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (269577)

The Department operates centralised information technology services and does not measure or deliver services by division. Average server capacity utilisation has not been monitored over the past five years and it would be at disproportionate cost to provide this information.

As part of the Department's Greening information and communications technology (ICT) strategy and action plan, the Department's provider of ICT services under an outsource agreement has been commissioned to review current server utilisation and to cost opportunities for server optimisation. This report will be delivered in May 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) printers and (b) multi-function devices with printing functions were in use in each division of his Department in each of the last five years; how many such devices had a function enabling two-sided printing; and if he will make a statement. (269602)

The majority of printers and multi function devices (MFDs) are located in open plan accommodation and are available for use by any group within reach of the device. Information is not held on numbers of devices per division. The figures provided represent the total numbers of devices in use across the estate.

Historically, information has not been held on an annual basis of the numbers of printers and MFDs in use before 2007. In August 2007, an audit was undertaken in advance of the introduction of a new managed print service. The numbers were as follows:

Duplex

Non Duplex

MFDs

116

12

Printers

467

736

The numbers, as of January 2009, with the managed print service fully implemented are as follows:

Duplex

Non Duplex

MFDs

216

0

Printers

189

36

Two-sided printing is the default setting for all duplex enabled devices.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of IT products in each category procured for each division of his Department were compliant with the Government's Buy Sustainable-Quick Win standard in the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (269624)

In the 2008-09 financial year, the Department procured:

60 personal computers, 100 per cent. meeting EPEAT gold and Energy Star criteria;

119 laptops, 100 per cent. meeting EPEAT silver and Energy Star criteria; and

175 flat screen monitors, 100 per cent. meeting EPEAT silver and Energy Star criteria.

All the products above listed as meeting Energy Star criteria are deemed to meet the Buy Sustainable-Quick Win standard. There is no breakdown by division available as devices are procured in bulk and allocated on individual need for the duration of the requirement. It would incur disproportionate cost to identify allocation of new equipment by division.

There were no purchases of individual printers, scanners and inkjet printers in the year as the Department procured a contract for a managed print service, deployed in 2007-08. The service replaced 1,500 individual printers with multifunctional devices and achieved significant carbon and financial savings.

External power supplies are purchased with laptops only and meet the required criteria of the EPEAT and Energy Start Standards.