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Milestone report published by DEFRA

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced the publishing of the Greening Government ICT report, marking a milestone in the journey to making government ICT sustainable.

With the annual publishing of the ‘Greening Government ICT report, the department aims to capture valuable data that relates to progress in sustainability, policy and strategy, however DEFRA have stated that this years’ report has captured more data than previous editions. Examples of collated data that the department have highlighted include:

  • Progress towards net zero IT and digital services
  • Increasing participation
  • Global leading action to identify our carbon footprint in the cloud
  • Focusing on the circular economy
  • Generating income
  • Digital first travel policies
  • Setting direction
  • Evidence towards a net gain provided by digital services

Another driving force behind the success of this year’s report is the department’s breakthrough event at COP26. The event, called Technology for Climate Action, saw 2,000 stakeholders, CEOs and technology leaders come together to work out how they can reduce the harmful impact that industrialisation is having on the environment. As that work continued through this year, the department is also launching the Government Digital Sustainability Alliance at this year’s COP27 in Egypt. This project will be managed by the Sustainable Technology Assurance and Reporting (STAR) team which is a group of 80 digital sustainability experts, all from government departments, agencies, academia, charities and the technology sector itself.

In the announcement, DEFRA’s Chief Digital and Information Officer Chris Howes said:

“The data behind this is vast and available to all members of the STAR to help them make informed decisions about legacy transformation, migration to the cloud and better management of resource. This data is also provided to the Cabinet Office through the Central Digital and Data Office.

“Technology won’t solve everything though. Minimising climate change will require massive behavioural and societal changes. So, we need a greater focus on how technology and data can help drive that. Our partnerships with industry are a vital component to increasing access to vital needed by our DDaT professionals to design and deliver sustainable ICT and digital services.

“My thanks must go to many industrious though leaders on sustainable ICT that formed and pushed this group and its work into the mainstream. We have been proud to be at the vanguard of this increasingly crucial topic and look forward to engaging internationally to ensure that ICCT and Digital services are part of the solution, and not part of the problem.”

Other crucial government documents that Defra Digital, Data and Technology Services has been instrumental in delivering include:

  • The National Data Strategy
  • The Technology Code of Practice Point 12 on Sustainability
  • The Greening Government Commitments
  • The Digital an Data Roadmap
  • The Procurement Policy Notice
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