Green guidelines for govt IT suppliers

Government agencies are set to raise the bar on environmental requirements for technology suppliers.By year end, agencies will be armed with a "best practice checklist" on environmental strategies for ICT.

Government agencies are set to raise the bar on environmental requirements for technology suppliers.

By year end, agencies will be armed with a "best practice checklist" on environmental strategies for ICT.

The checklist will draw on the recently-developed Environmental Purchasing Guide (EPG), which reinforced environmental concerns in procurement, such as disposal and energy consumption costs.

The new measures coincide with the Australian National Audit Office's first cross-portfolio investigation into environmentally friendly procurement. The results of the audit will provide future guidance for agencies on environmental requirements.

The green guidelines are outlined in the Measures to Support Environmentally Friendly ICT report released by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

"It is anticipated that benchmarking information obtained from the audit will help agencies develop their annual procurement plans," the report said.

IT suppliers will have to meet minimum energy requirements -- based on the Australian Greenhouse Office -- when servicing goverment agencies.

From 2006, the Australian government will introduce minimum requirements for external power supplies. Computers and monitors will follow from 2007.

"This measure will ban the poorest performing products from the Australian market," the report said.

Suppliers of printing and imaging solutions could be hardest hit by the new guidelines. Such services have recently attracted criticism from environmentalists for being high in waste.

Prior to the report, a discussion paper was released to which printing and imaging solutions suppliers Fuji-Xerox, HP and Kyocera-Mita endorsed the government's plans.