Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Rishi Bhargava, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict

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
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, 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. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
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...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...