Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Stefan Bernbo, Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

UK Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme is Bad for IT Business

Don’t put a black mark against business going green

As we enter the third month of 2012, we can but hope that this should be the year that the UK Government finally realises that its Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme is bad for business.

Introduced under the banner of helping UK industry to become more energy efficient it seems to want to do nothing but penalise growth.

Our raison d’etre as the owner and operator of five UK data centres is to help businesses and organisations throughout the private and public sector to consolidate their IT infrastructures. By moving their servers off their premises into data centres like ours, which are efficiently run to maximise computer usage in environmentally-controlled settings, we are driving business efficiency.

MPs seem to think that because we use a lot of energy that we waste it. We don’t. In fact energy stewardship is critical to our business success. Our customers have the benefit of control panels that show them exactly what energy their servers are consuming so that they can make sound business decisions as they move forward.

Virtualization of servers is shrinking carbon footprints by making organisations less reliant on enormous racks of hardware. And in terms of the actual consumer, the move to online retailing has lessened the need we have as human beings to always be driving in and out of town to go shopping.

The first ‘league table’ for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme was published in November 2011 with Manchester United among the twenty two organisations ranked joint first. Manchester United came top alongside several NHS Trusts, OFGEM and British American Tobacco plc.

Comparing like with like? The CRC scheme rightly produced as much hair dryer treatment as Sir Alex Ferguson does in the dressing room – with Tim Yeo MP, chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee calling it ‘a straight forward theft’ after it was revealed that the decision to recycle the revenues from the scheme had raised £743m for HM Treasury.

There is a real problem for companies wanting to improve their green credentials because their ranking might not necessarily reflect their commitment to carbon reduction. Investing in more efficient technology to do this might lead to an increase in their energy consumption in the short term while trying to reduce it in the long term. A clearer picture needs to emerge and for businesses and organisations to be judged on all the different ways in which they are trying to reduce their environmental impact, not just their use of fossil fuels.

Data centre providers are making efforts to use renewable energy where possible. Iceland has opened its first 100 per cent carbon neutral data centre site to support UK and US companies in their environmental strategies. The Keflavik site taps into Iceland’s renewable energy power grid which takes advantage of hydro and geothermal energy sources and the country’s ambient temperature for cooling. And social network giant Facebook is to build its first data centre outside the US in the northern Swedish city of Lulea, close to the Arctic Circle, because of its access to renewable energy and its cold climate. In the UK even Swindon is playing host to a new data centre from Capgemini which has invested in the latest cooling technology.

Yet these are all £multi-million new builds. David Cameron pledged to make this ‘the greenest government ever’ by shifting to a low carbon economy but where are the incentives for existing data centres and their customers?

Cold aisle containment, virtualization and the cloud can only take us so far.

The IT industry is like the development of the motorways in this country. When Harold Macmillan opened the M6 Preston By-Pass, the UK’s first motorway, in 1958, it was just two lanes of highway stretching a mere 8 miles. Today there are over 2,200 miles of motorway, connecting all parts of the country. The internet is like a super motorway, its network allowing people and businesses to connect, shop and trade like never before without having to get into their cars to do it, and yet it seems to be seen as a pariah because it uses energy.

Nobody’s saying that energy efficiency isn’t important but businesses, especially SMEs which the government says it wants to drive recovery, need to be encouraged to think about their carbon use rather than be punished for it.

Technology can help to reduce costs and provide innovative ways to work and increase revenues. This in turn points to sustainability and growth, important issues in times of economic difficulty.

Reducing the carbon footprint is not easy, but European businesses must invest in green technology that enables them to be more energy efficient and rely less on natural resources. Over the next 20 to 30 years, Europe has some specific green regulatory targets to meet and the uptake in the Smart Grid, which can generate energy through renewable resources, will be critical in achieving these goals. The investment in renewable energy will also create new employment opportunities so it is in the interest of organisations to support the initiative by utilising greener technology.

The UK Government should be considering how to supply us all with the renewable energy we would happily use, at a price that we can afford. We don’t want UK business to be driving along the back lanes while everywhere else in the western world is speeding along the digital superhighway.

More Stories By Phil Worms

Phil is a 30 year IT industry veteran with a passion for education and has personally led many school and higher education initiatives designed to engage young people and showcase the broad range of exciting and fulfilling roles in IT.

A full and varied career has seen Phil move through various senior product/project and marketing positions with companies as diverse as Centrica plc, One.Tel, VarTec Telecom and iomart Group plc. Phil is working on a project to create an intergenerational social hub that will celebrate creativity and achievement in Helensburgh, birthplace of television pioneer John Logie Baird.The Heroes Centre will provide people of all ages with the new media and content creation skills required to engage fully in the digital world. Follow his progress on Twitter and on Facebook

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...