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June 7, 2010

Confusion reigns over CRC scheme

UK firms are unprepared to comply with legislation recently introduced to help reduce carbon emissions, despite many admitting that the CRC scheme will change the way they think about the environmental impact of their IT operations, according to

By Cbr Rolling Blog

UK firms are unprepared to comply with legislation recently introduced to help reduce carbon emissions, despite many admitting that the CRC scheme will change the way they think about the environmental impact of their IT operations, according to new research.

IT services firm Morse interviewed 200 IT bosses at UK firms with over 1,000 employees and found that 65% said they didn’t feel prepared to comply with the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) due to not having the correct processes in place.

Brian Murray, principal consultant at Morse, told CBR that this is not a huge cause for concern, as 79% of respondents said that the legislation will force them to change the way they think about green IT.

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“There is a lack of awareness of the CRC – some are not aware of the impact of it and some are simply not aware of it at all,” he said, adding that because 64% of IT departments don’t pay for energy out of the IT budget, there is a limit to what they can do. “It’s not that they don’t care, but they don’t see it as something they control. Their hands are tied.”

Although there is a desire to be greener, with 72% of firms claiming that making their IT operations more environmentally friendly was a top priority, many organisations (70%) do not know how much energy their IT uses. This means that those companies will be unable to correctly plan for and predict the effects of strategies to reduce energy use, the survey said.

This represents an opportunity for IT heads to step up and get their voice heard in the board room, Murray said. “If CIOs or IT bosses have the chance to say ‘this is what power we use and this is what we can save’ then it will help raise awareness at board room level and demonstrate the value of IT.”

“Firms need to realise they are up against it in terms of time,” Murray continued. “The CRC scheme started in April and the first audits are in September. That’s not long and companies need to establish what they need to do or purchase to comply. They need to look at the benefit of CRC rather than how they may suffer because of it. A good position in the league table will help raise brand awareness, which will mean more money.”

In a similar study IT management software vendor CA found that 57% of UK firms also believe that complying with CRC will improve brand image, thereby improving sales.

“Despite the up-front planning and compliance costs associated with the government’s new CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, many UK companies see through these to the long-term financial benefits that can be achieved. Carbon management leadership can help businesses increase sales via enhanced brand image, while simultaneously delivering significant energy efficiency cost savings and avoiding fines,” said Sonny Masero, VP ecoSoftware EMEA, CA.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme came into force on April 1, 2010 and is designed to encourage UK organisations to reduce their power usage.

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