Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan - What's happening

The following activities aim to assist agencies to understand and to implement the measures included in the Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan 2010 - 2015.

Implementation update

Mid-term review

A review of the ICT Sustainability Plan 2010-2015 is being conducted in 2012-2013. The review will consider the effectiveness of the plan, progress towards implementing initiatives and achieving energy targets and any significant changes in Australian Government policy and international ICT sustainability initiatives and technology.

If you would like to be involved in the review please email SustainableICT@environment.gov.au

ICT energy reporting through the ICT benchmarking survey

The ICT Sustainability Plan sets targets for FMA Act agencies related to their ICT operations. For the first two years of the plan (2009-10 and 2010-11) agencies were required to submit their annual ICT energy consumption data to the government through the Australian Government's Online System for Comprehensive Activity Reporting (OSCAR) tool, previously managed by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

From the 2011-12 reporting year agencies are required to report against the ICT Sustainability Plan targets through the ICT Benchmarking Survey administered by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

Guidance materials and support

A suite of guidance materials to support the implementation of the ICT Sustainability Plan by Australian Government agencies has been developed. The information will also help the ICT industry to understand the Plan and the Government's expectations.

The material includes 6 Guidelines and 10 Fact Sheets. The guidelines and several fact sheets focus on Section 2 of the Plan which relates to ICT procurement and associated consumables and waste. The other fact sheets (4, 8, 10) provide direction or suggestions for agencies on ICT sustainability initiatives and reporting.

Feedback on the guidance materials is always welcome, just email your comments to sustainableICT@environment.gov.au.

Additional support materials and information are available to Australian Government agencies through the ICT Sustainability for Australian Government Agencies (ISAGA) GovDex community site. Access can be requested by sending an email to sustainableICT@environment,gov.au

Green ICT Procurement

In addition to the mandatory procurement measures introduced through the ICT Sustainability Plan a number of other initiatives that support sustainable procurement have occurred over the past 12 months. The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has provided input to the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) so that sustainable ICT elements are integrated into the initiatives. Some examples of sustainable procurement initiatives include:

Green ICT Procurement Toolkit

The Green ICT Procurement Toolkit provides guidance and tools to help agencies when procuring ICT products and services, including environmental performance clauses which can be incorporated into Request for Tender (RFT) documents and in resultant Contracts. Feedback on the toolkit is welcome and can be emailed to sustainableICT@environment.gov.au.

Whole-of-Government ICT Procurement Arrangements

A number of ICT related coordinated procurement contracting arrangements have been established over the past 12 months. These whole-of-government initiatives, established by the Department of Finance and Deregulation and mandatory for all FMA agencies, aim to maximise market benefits and deliver efficiencies and savings to agencies and the Government.

Agencies should regularly refer to the "Whole-of-Government Procurement Contracts, Arrangements and Initiatives" section of the Department of Finance and Deregulation website to review all current coordinated procurement arrangements related to ICT.

Currently, the following coordinated procurement arrangements are active:

  • Desktop Hardware Panel - enquiries to ictprocurement@finance.gov.au
  • Major Office Machines Panels - enquiries to momcontract@finance.gov.au
  • Telecommunications Commodities, Carriage and Associated Services Panel - enquiries to ictprocurement@finance.gov.au

Agency ICT Energy Management Plan (ICT Sustainability Plan)

An agency ICT energy management plan (EMP) can provide a framework to assist the agency to better understand their ICT energy use and to develop strategies to contain or reduce ICT energy use and costs. A key activity involved in developing an ICT energy management plan is sourcing business data for ICT energy reporting (see above).

While only FMA Act agencies with large annual spends on ICT have been required to develop and regularly review ICT EMPs to date (they did this early in 2010) it is strongly recommended that all Australian Government agencies consider developing an ICT EMP to give greater direction and focus to their ICT energy use planning and reporting.

Some agencies are choosing to integrate their ICT energy management planning into existing agency-wide energy management plans, environmental management plans/systems or to expand it into an agency ICT sustainability plan.

Agencies interested in developing an ICT EMP/Sustainability Plan can email sustainableICT@environment.gov.au for a template and further information.

ICT Sustainability Scorecard

Under the Plan, agencies are asked to develop and maintain an ICT Sustainability Scorecard. Fact Sheet 4 in the Guidance Materials suite provides advice on developing a basic scorecard. It is important that agencies continuously collect the data and information they need to monitor their progress against the measures and targets of the ICT Sustainability Plan. This will ensure that they are able to submit the information needed as part of the mid-term review of the Plan in 2012-2013.

ICT Sustainability Initiatives

To assist agencies in their implementation of the Plan a comprehensive list of proposed ICT sustainability initiatives have been included as Appendix 2 of the Plan. Some of these initiatives fall under the mandatory requirements of the Plan while others have been included to help agencies in their planning and implementation efforts and, ultimately, to meet the ICT environmental performance targets. Agencies can add other initiatives to the list and also use the four columns provided to determine the current status of their ICT sustainability capability.

Contact details

Government ICT Sustainability
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Email: sustainableICT@environment.gov.au