Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green IT in Australia


I have recently returned from a business trip in Australia. Before anyone asks my carbon footprint for the flights and hotels were offset through the Carbon Neutral company.

My trip was meeting suppliers to build new Green IT infrastructure to support our Asia Pacific operations expansion and build a new data centre.

Before I left for Sydney I was told that the Asia Pacific region lagged behind Europe and the United states in Green Technology so my expectations were not high of what I might find. While it is true that end users in Australian companies have not adopted low carbon computing at the same rates as the UK it became clear that many suppliers and organisations were very knowledgeable on the subject and had products and services readily available.

While in Sydney I met with Optus, an Australian telecommunications provider who impressed me with their Green building campus just outside Sydney for which they won a Green Globe in 2008

When in Melbourne I had a early morning breakfast meeting with Dr Turlough Guerin who is Group Manager Environment for Telstra, the primary Telecommunications provider in Australia. Turlough gave me a good insight to the improvements Australian companies are making in Green technology and their environment impact. Turlough's Green Files blog can be found linked below.
http://www.nowwearetalking.com.au/blogs/green-files

Turlough also told me about Bianca Wirth, another Technololist working with Microsoft Australia who is passionate about Green Technology. While I didn't get the opportunity to meet up with Bianca we have exchanged a few emails during and since my visit. Bianca blogs under the name of Little Miss Enviro Geek at http://blogs.technet.com/lmeg/ and her other website is Green IT Strategy http://www.greenitstrategy.com/ which has some good Green IT resources and links.

While in Australia I was micro blogging on Twitter under the name of @GeekyGreen at http://www.twitter.com/geekygreen with a local theme of Australia Green IT (when in rome and all that..... ) There are plenty of websites, blogs and events in Australia on Green computing.

I toured over eight data centres in Sydney and Melbourne and Green is very much on the radar with all of them. The one that stood out for me was Interactive data centre at Port Melbourne. Their managing director and novelist Christopher Ride who I met really understands what it means to be green and they have become the first to offer 100% Green energy in their data centre (a world first they claim).

On a brief trip to the capital Canberra I was encouraged to hear the Australian federal government and DEWR are embracing Green IT. They are also in the process of pushing through Carbon Emission Trading bill.
I look forward to doing business with many of the forward thinking green IT suppliers in Australia in the coming months.

I also became aware of a forward thinking Australian organisation called "ComputersOff.org" they launched a hilarious video on Youtube called "Naked Tuesdays" which is below and is a fun way of getting the message across.





On Saturday evening on March 28th I sat in Sydney Harbour to experience Earth Hour which was a great experiece.

I learnt that Earth Hour was founded by WWF Australia in Sydney in 2007 as a Citywide event which is now a global campaign backed by the UN and claims to have reached 1 billion people in 2009.


Below is my experience of Earth Hour from the Opera Bar just behind Sydney Opera House



2 comments:

Britt said...

I was going to ask if you came across Computers Off. Did you know they are expanding the campaign for Canada. Possibly in the US as well.

Overall, it sounds like Australia is right in line with the US in terms of green IT awareness - would you agree?
-Britt Burnham
Terrabytes Consulting/Green IT Tools

Sean Whetstone said...

Yes I came across Computers Off while in Asutralia and loved the Youtube video series they have released.

I would say the US is slightly ahead of Australia with regards to Green IT but catching fast. Of course I may be biased but the UK Green IT market is ahead of the US effort.