Green ICT in Västernorrland
Topic of the practice
Energy and resourc efficiency, touris, green economy
Good Practice Information
This Good Practice shows how an idea of reducing the environmental impact of the usage of ICT in a public authority can easily be implemented. How the use of energy can be reduced, green purchasing of ICT can be accomplished and substantial economic savings made, all at the same time.
Information and communication technology has recently emerged as an enabler for a better environment and the municipality of Örnsköldsvik has taken the lead. Green IT has been associated with 'green' actions by IT departments. However, the concept has grown to include the benefits of green IT services as well as products. There are many potential technologies and ideas although there is a lack of strategy regarding cordination of ecological IT initiatives. There is also a lack of case studies / examples that clearly demonstrate the benefits. In Örnsköldsvik, environmental action is already a natural part of the IT strategy. Return on investments can be calculated in terms of both Swedish krona and lower environmental impact. The experts at the Swedish Energy Agency also note that information technology is the technology with the greatest potential to influence our energy consumption.
When the next generation goes out to work, they will bring with them a natural relationship to IT. They are, for instance, accustomed to having contact with people without meeting in real life.
Much of what is done in Örnsköldsvik is seen as common sense and changes driven by the local IT-department are in phase with the high levels of environmental awareness among the municipalities staff. Efforts to make the local administration more sustainable are widespread in the organisation.
• Reduced energy costs for the municipality
• Marketing of the municipalities environmental profile
• Reduced travelling for the municipalities staff
• Citizens and especially those taking in distance learning
• Management of schools in the countryside
• The whole environment
Critical success factors
• Organisational commitment
• Political commitment and support
• Policy for environmental procurement Resources (incl. people, expertise, consultancy, hardware, software etc.)
• Acceptance in the organization, among staff, head of units etc.
• Time for carrying through the change process
Evidence of success
Simply by replacing 3,000 computers with energy-efficient alternatives and thereby reducing energy consumption, the municipality saves € 50,000 a year.
The excess heat from the servers in the current heating system helps to heat other buildings. In one case the excess heat from the server hall helps to heat a school. The municipality saves € 10,000 a year through thes actions.
The municipality will save a lot of transport costs when people no longer have to travel 50-100 km into the city to participate in different kinds of education that only lasts for a couple of hours a day or a week e.g. home-language instruction. The same goes for the management of village schools far from the municipality and city centre.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Annex completed on: 04-08-2011