IT Professionals Less Concerned About Organisations’ Environmental Impact

The findings of a survey by document management software company Version One highlight that senior IT professionals are feeling increasingly unconcerned about the impact their businesses are having on the environment. According to the survey, 86% of senior IT professionals are concerned about the negative impact their company is having on the environment, down 12% compared with an identical survey carried out by Version One in February 2007. Version One carried out the research with 100 senior IT professionals (IT directors and managers) across a range of UK public and private sector organisations.

48% of respondents said that they were VERY concerned about their company’s environmental impact compared with 56% in February 2007. In Version One’s latest survey, 12% admitted they were NOT concerned about their company’s environmental impact, compared with just 1% in the 2007 survey, with some sceptics suggesting that the British Government is pushing green agendas simply to raise revenue. One respondent, an IT manager in a large healthcare organisation, questioned “What impact on the environment?” The remaining 2% of respondents didn’t know whether they should be concerned or not!

Lynne Munns, General Manager of Version One, says, “It’s clear that the majority of IT professionals remain concerned about the impact their organisations are having on the environment. However, the latest survey findings also suggest one of two things. Either IT professionals are becoming more apathetic about green issues and the role they can play to help reduce CO2 emissions and their company’s overall environmental impact, or since February 2007, some of the respondents’ businesses have actively taken steps to reduce their environmental impact and so are less concerned as a result. If complacency has set-in, it’s imperative that this doesn’t continue as IT professionals need to ensure that their IT strategies are closely aligned with their organisations’ green agendas.”

Most of the 100 respondents believe more needs to be done to persuade UK companies to reduce their negative impact on the environment, however there are mixed ideas about the type of measures required. 27% suggest that financial incentives alone are required, 22% would favour a green education programme while 20% feel that financial incentives together with legislation and a ‘green’ education programme is the answer. Just 12% believe that legislation alone would encourage businesses to become more eco-friendly with the remaining respondents suggesting either a combination of financial incentives and a green education programme or legislation and financial incentives. Only one respondent, an IT manager from a manufacturing company, did not know what measures companies should undertake to become more environmentally-friendly.

Munns comments, “IT professionals can play a vital role in helping to reduce organisations’ negative impact on the environment from introducing low carbon and high efficiency technologies through to educating colleagues on how to minimise energy waste whilst using technology.”

Interestingly, 89% of those surveyed revealed that they are interested in implementing document management technology due, in part, to its environmental benefits. This is despite the survey findings indicating that just 86% of IT professionals are concerned about their companies’ environmental impact.

Munns adds, “It is not surprising that the environmental benefits of document management are some of the reasons for organisations wanting to implement these systems. Document management replaces paper-based processes with electronic procedures, reducing both paper consumption and CO2 emissions. In addition to its environmental benefits, document management makes sound business sense as it cuts costs, improves cash flow, enhances efficiency and frees-up storage space.”