Thursday, October 29, 2009

Canberra Carbon Cops Certified

The Hon Lindsay Tanner presenting John Lawler, Chief Executive Officer of ACC their Power management Certification award.The Minister for Finance, Lindsay Tanner handed the Australian Crime Commission their three Green IT certifications from Computers Off this morning at the ACC headquarters in Canberra. The ACC are the first organisation to receive all three certifications.

ACC also have a green headquarters building, but unfortunately few people will see the inside of it, due to security. The building uses chilled beam technology, rainwater harvesting and sensor lighting. The greening is subtle, but if you look up, you notice that what looks like a solid white ceiling is in fact a mesh designed to let cooling air circulate from the chilled beam above.

To achieve low energy IT certification, the ACC set its desktop computers to switch to low power mode, rationalized it servers down to about half the previous number and purchased carbon offsets for the remaining power use. They estimate savings at 435 tones of CO2 equivalent per year and $80,000 on electricity.

The minister said the government was under pressure to practice what they preach on greenhouse gas emission reduction. He said that it was easy to loose sight of the fact that not just old smoke stack technology causes pollution, but hi-tech computers do as well. He commented on the dilemma in the relationship between central coordination agencies such as Finance and the other departments, such as ACC. The job of ACC is to fight crime, not climate change. The Rudd government is crafting a hybrid arrangement to allow initiatives such as the rationalisation of data centres but allow individual agencies to use their initiative. He then handed the three certificates to the ACC.

I hope to be able to use the ACC as a case study for my Green IT students next semester.

The minister's media release and speech should be on the Minister's web site shortly.

ps: I couldn't blog this live from the ACC as their security system blocked my wireless access.

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