The Queensland government has announced plans to embark on a new green procurement strategy, after a procedural review led to the establishment of a green whole-of-government computing arrangement.
As part of his announcement yesterday, Queensland's Minister for Public Works, Housing and ICT, Robert Schwarten said all government staff would now be expected to "think green" when engaging in procurements.
The announcement comes after a substantial 12 month review of the state government's procurement strategy last year, which included consultation with industry and a number of other stakeholders.
"A recent whole-of-government arrangement for desktop computers, laptops and file servers called for energy-saving features in hardware, responsible recycling and disposal, and environmentally-conscious manufacturing," he said.
The green ICT initiative set out to purchase only high-compliance energy efficient desktop PCs from vendors with a demonstrated record of taking back used government hardware for resale or recycling.
"This is just one example of how agencies can contribute to a sustainable future for Queensland," Schwarten said yesterday.
Richard Harris, research vice president at analyst firm Gartner told ZDNet Australia that he was encouraged by the move and said it was up to governments to be the leaders in adopting green policies broadly and within ICT.
"The first degree of green IT thinking relates to the types of products and services bought," he said, "but moving forward from that it is to demonstrate how IT can help governments reduce their carbon footprint and to encourage more appropriate uses of technology".
"With the establishment of a new procurement office I'm now confident that the Queensland government is bringing this type of thinking front and centre."
In a statement released ahead of last year's Gartner Symposium, Harris said that by 2010 "environmental-related issues will be among the top five IT management concerns for more than 50 percent of state and local government organisations in Australia, North America and Europe".