BT offers IT carbon-footprint assessments

The service will look at strategies such as virtualised call centres and teleconferencing to help organisations reduce their CO2 emissions

BT's Global Services is offering carbon-footprint assessments to help large corporates and public-sector organisations reduce their energy consumption.

The assessments will calculate the amount of CO2 emissions produced as a result of an organisation's networked IT services, and develop alternative solutions that use less energy. As well as the energy used by office buildings and other infrastructure, work patterns, including staff travel and IT use, will be assessed.

The offering will let companies work out how much of a positive environmental impact they could make by virtualising their call centres or holding teleconferences instead of meetings. "Large organisations have many activities that can directly or indirectly cause the emissions of carbon," said Dinah McLeod, head of the sustainability practice at BT Global Services. "BT can credibly and demonstrably help a customer understand the role networked IT services play in both producing and reducing carbon footprint."

This is consultancy, of course, so the service will look at the "behavioural change" required of users. It will also promote BT's business directly, since moves to virtualised call centres and teleconferences, for example, all replace travel with telecoms.

However, BT does have a decent track record in sustainability, having reduced its emissions in the UK by 60 percent since 1996 and having used green power since 2004. A combined contract with npower and British Gas provides the telecoms company with one terawatt hour (TWh) of renewable energy and 1.2TWh of combined heat and power a year.