Presentation on theme: "GREEN ICT Justifying Investment in Green Helen Hasan Australian Health Services Research Institute University of Wollongong."— Presentation transcript:
GREEN ICT Justifying Investment in Green Helen Hasan Australian Health Services Research Institute University of Wollongong
My Motivation I was brought up to tread lightly on the planet, conserving for the future Being environmentally responsible is good practice and insurance against risk We may be the only planet in the universe with intelligent life that is conscious of its own destiny There is nowhere else nearby to go if we stuff up I am concerned for the quality of life of my children and grandchildren
Not everyone thinks this way Sceptics and deniers don’t see the problem Those struggling to make ends meet have more pressing concerns and probably have a low carbon footprint anyway Many are convinced by the “economy is everything” argument Others are devotees of the materialistic mantra Some have faith that science will find solutions to everything We have a duty to help poorer nations develop the way we did
The Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability – many needs to meet
What is important? I think that getting the social system right is the most important although it is quite flawed at the moment I agree that the environmental and economic systems are part of the whole sustainability picture but should not dominate The social systems is the most complex (community, politics, priorities, equity) all three together are even more complex Reluctantly we are often forced to pay too much attention to the economics to get things started
Some General Observations Big businesses promote themselves as environmentally responsible but people are sceptical and suspect greenwashing. Small business tend not to have the resources to put towards environmental initiatives but would like to. The public sector are influenced by the political climate The radicals are not always practical
Business Cases for Green Reduce costs now (energy use – particularly servers, recycling, less paper) Sustainability (long-term payback) Reputation (responsibility loyalty) Employee satisfaction and pride Regulations now and in the future
Research on the benefits of a green reputation Many companies put a lot of effort into their reputation ( see their CSR and Sustainability Reports). Fujitsu and others research company and national Green IT credentials and their reports are taken seriously. There is evidence that people will pay more for products that are produced with social and environmental responsibility People will boycott firms that do not It is not easy to measure the environmental footprint of a product or service.
Business of a Public University A bit different to most businesses Most of its educational business customers are on site A large administrative effort also caters for them It research customers are varied It is basically not for profit that serves the nation/community Its income comes from customer fees and government grants, often based on performance indicators. It has direct outputs (graduates, research papers and reports) It has indirect societal benefits that enhances its reputation and occasionally bring income
So where does Green fit in to University business? Our University had a great Environmental Unit when things were good (it is now a shadow of this in tough time) It has done many of the cost saving measures, energy savings including rationalising servers, recycling waste water etc Now, when funds are scarce, the things that can now be done have upfront costs that have less clear cut cost savings; solar panels, a tri-generation plant, energy sensors The University seems unaware of the benefits of being seen to be green among the student cohort, mainly resposible for the University’s income.
So we did a survey We developed a small online survey Through graduate PhD students of our department who are now teaching in Universities in many countries we sent the link out world wide We aimed to get feedback on what would attract them to enrol in a University here We also survey students already studying here We had help from survey experts in the design and tried to get a representative response
Results 128 return from overseas students, only 12 from students at our University (no incentive was offered) but a good cross- section of types of students, areas of study and backgrounds Overall the results indicate that students are influenced in their choices by the environmental reputation
Q6Answer (External Students) Response% 1a major positive influence 2529% 2some positive influence 5159% 3 no influence (it doesn't matter to me) 1113% StatisticValue Min Value1 Max Value3 Mean1.84 Variance0.39 Standard Deviation0.63 Total Responses87 Q6Answer (at the university) Response% 1a major positive influence 111% 2some positive influence 667% 3no influence (it doesn't matter to me) 222% StatisticValue Min Value1 Max Value3 Mean2.11 Variance0.36 Standard Deviation0.60 Total Responses9 Q6 How much influence would a University’s good record on environmentally responsible operations have on your decision to study at that University?
1a major negative influence on you choosing to study there 34 40 % 2some negative influence on you choosing to study there 43 50 % 3no influence on you choosing to study there 9 10 % StatisticValue Min Value1 Max Value3 Mean1.71 Variance0.42 Standard Deviation0.65 Total Responses86 Q7 If a University had a particularly poor record on environmentally responsible operations would that have? #Answer Response% 1a major negative influence on you choosing to study there 3 33 % 2some negative influence on you choosing to study there 6 67 % 3no influence on you choosing to study there 00% StatisticValue Min Value1 Max Value2 Mean1.67 Variance0.25 Standard Deviation0.50 Total Responses9
1a major positive influence 00% 2some positive influence 545% 3no influence, it didn't matter to me 655% Total 11 10 0% StatisticValue Min Value2 Max Value3 Mean2.55 Variance0.27 Standard Deviation0.52 Total Responses11 From 12 responses at our University to the question: How much influence did the University’s good record on environmentally responsible operations have on your decision to study at Wollongong?
#Question extremely Important somewha t important not sure / can't say Total ResponsesMean 1 Programs to reduce energy use on campus 34485871.67 2 Use of renewable sources of energy 50269851.52 3 Responsible use of water (using storm-water, recycling 52268861.49 4 Responsible waste management and recycling where appropriate 52314871.45 5Free public transport482414861.60 6 The option to Carbon-offset your degree 205114851.93 7 A Green IT program to minimize the Carbon-footprint of technology 37418861.66 8 Green campus initiatives such as a community garden 54247851.45 9 Protection of biodiversity on campus 41395851.58 10 Students encouraged to engage in activism about environmental sustainability 403512871.68 11 Strong management support for environmental sustainability initiatives 50306861.49 Q9
#Question extremely Important somewha t important not sure / can't say Total Responses Mean 1Programs to reduce energy use on campus45091.56 2Use of renewable sources of energy54091.44 3 Responsible use of water (using storm-water, recycling 54091.44 4 Responsible waste management and recycling where appropriate 62191.44 5Free public transport72091.22 6The option to Carbon-offset your degree44191.67 7 A Green IT program to minimize the Carbon- footprint of technology 54091.44 8 Green campus initiatives such as a community garden 54091.44 9Protection of biodiversity on campus71081.13 10 Students encouraged to engage in activism about environmental sustainability 81091.11 11 Strong management support for environmental sustainability initiatives 81091.11 Q9
So what? Many who left comments were very passionate about the environment Not sure how much of an influence this would be on student’s choice of university – further research is needed. If there were more evidence how could this data be used to persuade any business that being green was good for business. Greening of IT and greening by IT are both the responsibility of IT people.
Would you work for a company that had questionable practices? Often depends on circumstances Is anyone completely free of blame here? Organisations have many stakeholders whose needs must be met – investors, clients and customers, employees, managers, the local community, This talk will present the case of the University where I work that is not particularly concerned about social and environmental issues at the moment.