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Departmental ICT

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he has taken to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions arising from the operation of ICT systems in his Department under the Greening Government ICT Strategy. (273564)

The Ministry of Justice is committed to reducing its carbon emissions in accordance with the campaign initiated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Greening Government ICT Strategy. The MOJ recognises that reducing its ICT carbon emissions is not just about technology but also about embedding sustainability in its process and behaviour as well.

The MOJ has worked to implement the appropriate ‘Areas for ICT Carbon Reduction’ in the Greening Government ICT Strategy improving the sustainability of its printing, the energy efficiency of its desktop PCs and data centres.

The MOJ has built sustainable IT principles into its IT policy and consideration of sustainability forms part of process of evaluation of changes to the IT estate. The MOJ is working with its suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of IT operations both in its outsourced data centres and at its own sites. It has employed third party expertise to analyse the sustainability of IT operations managed by a sample of the MOJ's key suppliers and advise on how best to realise improvements. This work has already led to increased data centre energy efficiency, and work on the centralisation of data processing will further reduce server energy consumption without negative effect on the volume or efficiency of data processing carried out. The convergence of formerly separate networks offers better sharing of IT resources for staff and the reduction of the overall number of devices we need to deliver the same level of service.

The MOJ has also used initiatives to realise the positive impact that ICT can have on the overall carbon emissions of its operations. It continues to invest in video-conferencing and teleconferencing technology to reduce emissions. The imminent upgrade of desktop PCs will offer not just improved power management to reduce energy consumption but also roaming profiles allowing any users to log on to any machine helping support MOJ estates' goal of 80 per cent. desking and a reduction in the overall size of the MOJ HQ estate.

MOJ is also working on staff awareness of green IT issues. Campaigns have been run encouraging the shut down of electrical items outside of office hours, the reduction of printing and paper consumption and the better use of video-conferencing and teleconferencing to reduce travel.