Reuters: Feds Adopting Green IT, but Lag on Tracking Progress

In the news today, a piece about Green IT’s status in government agencies is highlighted. On Reuters:

Government agencies are beginning to make good on these orders, but most haven’t created baselines or targets to measure progress, according to a recent report (PDF) from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). This makes it impossible to tell whether the efforts are truly advancing President Obama’s sustainability agenda.

Read the entire article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/08/idUS61830248220110808

Based on the GAO report, cited in the article, agencies have taken steps to implement requirements, but additional guidance on measuring performance is needed.

Two executive orders, from 2007 and 2009 respectively, assign responsibility to federal agencies for increasing their environmental sustainability and contain green IT-related requirements. These requirements include acquiring electronic products that meet certain environmental standards, extending the useful life of electronic equipment, implementing power management on computers, and managing federal data centers in a more energy efficient manner.

Read the whole report: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-638

Here’s the piece about today’s story that makes me pause: if you have no baselines, monitoring, or reporting in place to start with – how can you actually determine if any progress is actually being made (beginning to make good on orders)? Part of any project needs to start with the ability to measure. And, the GAO has it right when they make their primary recommendation to develop baselines for the executive order goals as well as targets that can “measure quantifiable benefits, such as energy or cost savings.”

Fortunately, 1E has the measurement, monitoring, and reporting covered. For the datacenter, NightWatchman Server Edition measures how much power is being used by servers and identifies which are being inefficient. It monitors the amount of useful activity across physical and virtual servers enabling the decommission of unused ones with confidence For the PC landscape, NightWatchman Enterprise uses actual machine make and model, power consumption figures and local energy tariffs to reveal a highly accurate picture of energy use, carbon emissions and costs by department, building or region.

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