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IT firms band together to shrink carbon footprint

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A group of UK IT firms has banded together to form The Green Initiative, a forum dedicated to helping companies learn more about how they can reduce their environmental impact.

Headed by Dan Sutherland, CEO of IT services firm Carrenza, the initiative was launched today at Internet World in London.

Sutherland says the initiative is really targeted at mid-market sized businesses. Larger firms, he argues, are likely to have a board person dedicated to managing environmental issues. Small companies can just get on with doing whatever they want to do.

"Companies with 200 plus employees can find it difficult. They are big enough to have enough regulatory control that the decision making can be slow," he told us.

The IT industry has a carbon footprint the same size as the airline business, according to analysts at Gartner, something Sutherland says is rather shocking to him.

The initiative will go live this week at www.greentechnologyinitiative.org. Sutherland says that over the next few months the site will be filled with downloadable information packs, guidelines for best practice, and so on.

"We'll be checking the numbers of downloads to give an idea of how well this is working," he told us. "But really, we'll need government support if this initiative is to have a long term future. We're meeting with Defra [Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs], and they are very keen on what we are doing."

Although Sutherland concedes that there is easy marketing mileage in being seen to go green, he insists that that is not the point of the initiative. It isn't designed to be proof of green credentials, but a place where information can be shared.

"Really, I haven't thought about what it could be beyond that. It needs to take its own path," he said. ®

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