78% of Companies Not Prepared for Carbon Emission Reporting Regulations - Sun Mircosystems Survey

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Almost half of businesses surveyed spend more that $1million on power annually. Only 22% of businesses have practices in place to enable them to measure carbon emissions, a survey of 2,500 IT professionals from medium and large businesses and government organisations found. The second in an annual survey of Sun Microsystems' Australian and New Zealand customers was commissioned to identify attitudes towards and practices in place to progress eco responsible business and IT practices. Of the respondents that could disclose their organisation's energy consumption (more than 1,200), 44% spend more than $1 million on electricity annually. Unsurprisingly given these costs, the main driver for adopting eco responsible practices among the companies questioned was reduced power consumption/cooling (78%), closely followed by lower costs (73%).

The Network is the Computer(TM)

Only 22% of Australian businesses have practices in place to enable them to measure carbon emissions, a survey of 2,500 IT professionals from medium and large businesses and government organisations found. The second in an annual survey of Sun Microsystems' Australian and New Zealand customers was commissioned to identify attitudes towards and practices in place to progress eco responsible business and IT practices.

Of the respondents that could disclose their organisation's energy consumption (more than 1,200), 44% spend more than $1 million on electricity annually. Unsurprisingly given these costs, the main driver for adopting eco responsible practices among the companies questioned was reduced power consumption/cooling (78%), closely followed by lower costs (73%).

"It is alarming that organisations are unable to measure carbon emissions, especially given the associated power costs. It is not only an environmental consideration but also matter of prudent fiscal management. Globally, governments are becoming more stringent and with the Australian National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act now in place, it is only a matter of time until many businesses will be held accountable for emissions," said Duncan Bennet, Vice President and Managing Director, Sun Microsystems ANZ.

When asked to rate a range of strategies for greening the IT department, energy efficient technologies was the most popular (73%), followed by systems virtualisation (66%) and power and cooling solutions (59%).

"Most medium and large businesses are faced with the same data centre issues - cost, power, space and cooling. By Implementing the right mix of eco-responsible practices organisations can attack all of these issues at once - without sacrificing IT performance," continued Bennet.

Comparing data from last year's survey, the number of organisations that have environmental or green business practices at a company-wide level in place has grown 6% to 66%. At the IT department level, 38% of respondents said their organisation already had plans in place to green IT, an increase of 11% from last year. The energy sector is still the leader in implementing eco responsible initiatives (88%) followed by the financial services industry (81%), retail (78%) and telecommunications (74%).

When making procurement decision, 57% of businesses assess a supplier's green credentials in a range of ways such as reviewing CSR reports and using independent benchmark data.

"In our experience the sectors that are ahead in eco initiatives are larger organisations that are exposed to customer pressure. As the pressure from customers and government to reduce environmental impact increases, the ripple effect will spread to all suppliers, no matter the size," said Bennet.

Key findings of the survey include (totals may not = 100% due to rounding or non responses):
Measurement of carbon emissions

  •     22% have practices in place to enable the measurement of carbon emissions
  •     36% have no practices in place but are interested in evaluating them
  •     33% have no plans to measure carbon emissions

Annual power costs (of the 48% who could respond):

  •     44% spend more than $1 million on power annually
  •     8% spend between $750k and $1 million on power annually
  •     7% spend between $500k and $750K million on power annually
  •     15% spend between $100k and $500k on power annually
  •     26% spend less than $100k on power annually

Eco responsible business practice (company wide):

  •     66% of respondents have environmental/green practices already in place

Greening the IT department

  •     38% have dedicated green IT plans in place
  •     23% plan to deploy eco responsible technology in the next 12 months
  •     21% are evaluating putting green IT plans in place
  •     15% have no plans at all

Drivers for uptake of green technology (multiple answers allowed, top 4 below):

  •     Reduced power consumption - 78%
  •     Lower costs - 73%
  •     Lower carbon emissions and environmental impact (eg recycling) - 61%
  •     Improved systems performance and utilisation - 50%

Strategies that would help green the IT department (multiple answers allowed, top 4 below)

  •     Energy efficient technologies - 73%
  •     Systems virtualisation - 66%
  •     Power and cooling solutions - 59%
  •     Data centre consolidation - 48%

Survey methodology:

  •     Sun Microsystems conducted an online survey during May and June 2008
  •     It generated 2,503 responses from 813 organisations across Australia and New Zealand
  •     Respondents roles range from systems analysts to network managers, and C-level executives

The sample is broken down as follows:

  •     Industry
  •     Number of employees
  •     Job title
  •     Australia
  •     New Zealand

Sun's energy usage:
More than 90 percent of Sun's carbon footprint comes from energy use. We are committed to openly sharing our energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions data and encourage other organisations to do the same.

For more information, please see Sun's Energy Usage.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.:
Sun Microsystems develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision -- "The Network is the Computer(TM)" -- Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://sun.com.

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Nicola Dowling
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