China behind in green efforts

As regulator, large employer and core business owner in various sectors, government is in strong position to promote green movement, say analysts.
Written by Konrad Foo, Contributor

China is lagging other Asia-Pacific countries in terms of environmentally friendly efforts, the results of a new survey revealed.

IDC's 2008 Green Poll of IT decision makers in the Asia-Pacific region revealed that when green requirements are specified in a request for proposal (RFP), only 9.7 percent of the respondents in China said they are mandatory. The average for Asia-Pacific countries is 35.3 percent, according to the survey's findings released Thursday.

Raphael Phang, vice president, Government Insights, IDC Asia-Pacific, noted room for China to enhance its commitment towards sustainable development.

"As global demand for a lighter carbon footprint grows, the public sector needs to be more responsive to public pressure. The government in China should seize the opportunity to maximize the unique position it has in influencing and effecting real changes by setting up more regulatory mandates to promote the green movement", Phang said in a press statement.

Research shows that many organizations in China do not consider the cost of electricity and utilities as part of their IT budget. They are not concerned with the increased power usage resulting from new features and functions in their IT processes. The main priority of most IT managers is ensuring their IT systems are reliable and secure. As a matter of fact, they are more concerned over the costs and risks involved in implementing a green data center.

Freda Tong, senior research analyst of IDC's China vertical industry research and consulting, said: "In order to drive enterprises to implement green IT, the government must play a part by setting up regulatory mandates. Furthermore, government departments should also lead by example and implement green purchasing criteria."

Public procurement is significant as the government takes on multiple roles as a regulator, large employer and core business owner in various industries.

Tong noted in the press statement, China's government has already put in place roadmaps to include green IT as a consideration for government contracts. "With such strategic plans put in place, China is ready to welcome ICT vendors with green IT solutions to participate in its plans to build its Eco City."

Based in Singapore, Konrad Foo is an intern with ZDNet Asia.

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