Monday, April 19, 2010

Green Technology: Procurement and Compliance from Desktops to Data Centres

One interesting aspect of the SIFA discussion I am involved in Adelaide is that ICT skills include procurement and compliance, marketing, learning and development. My green ICT course explicitly references Procurement and Compliance. Perhaps I did the course a disservice by not highlighting these skills in preparing it. So renaming the Green course "Procurement and Compliance for Green Technology". From the marketing point of view, data centres are a hot topic, so a better name would be "Green Technology: Procurement and Compliance from Desktops to Data Centres".

Also it would be interesting to see some e-learning modules developed for marketing, learning and development. These skills tend to be dismissed by ICT technical people as being not worthy of their attention.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green ICT Strategies Course for North America

Athabasca University (Canada) is now offering the course "Green ICT Strategies COMP 635". This is based on my Green Technology Strategies syllabus, adapted for North America.

Brian Stewart, Chief Information Officer, Athabasca University undertook the ANU e-learning version of my course "Green Information Technology Strategies COMP7310". He must have enjoyed it, as he then asked if it was okay for them to adapt it for Canada, which I was delighted to agree to:

Computer Science (COMP) 635
Green ICT Strategies

Method of Delivery:Grouped Study Online
Credits:3 - IS Elective
Centre:School of Computing and Information Systems
Instructor: Richard Huntrods and Brian Stewart


This course will approach green ICT strategies from a professional perspective, providing instruction on how best to apply green ICT strategies in the working environment. COMP 635 takes an information literacy approach by using open resources to facilitate the development of a professional body of knowledge. This removes the need for a textbook and allows the student to build his or her knowledge on continually available sources.

Green ICT (Green IT or Green Computing) is the study and practice of using computers and telecommunications in a way that maximizes positive environmental benefit and minimizes the negative impact. The energy efficiency of operating equipment is a major concern of Green ICT. The embodied energy and lifecycle of the materials used in the design, manufacture, reuse, and recycling of equipment and components are also concerns. Green ICT seeks to inform accepted management practices to achieve efficient and effective business interaction.

The course covers topics such as networking and distributed systems. It builds on themes such as standards and open systems, and uses tools such as Integrated Development Environments. It provides historical and hardware/software/mathematics foundations for the subject, and develops research and report-writing skills to prepare a project report.

Green ICT strategies is an emerging discipline. This course is drawn from practices being developed in the public and private sectors both in Canada and internationally. It introduces implementation methodologies and assessment tools that are currently being tested in the field.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student should be able to

  • understand the role of ICTs as they impcact the global carbon footprint
  • estimate the carbon footprint of the ICT operations of an organization,
  • assess ways to reduce the carbon footprint of an organization, by changes to polices for procurement of ICT, changes to the ICT operations and revising business processes.


The course consists of four major topics (modules). Each module has three sub-topics, (one sub-topic per week), and a week at the end of the course is reserved for review.

  1. Module 1: Politics, Science and Business of Sustainability
    • Introduction to Green ICT Strategies
    • The Global ICT Footprint
    • Enabling ICT: Dematerialization, Smart Motor Systems, Logistics, Buildings and Grids
  2. Module 2: Technical Strategy and Planning–Emerging Technology Monitoring
    • Energy Saving: Data Centres and Client Equipment
    • Materials Use
    • Methods and Tools
  3. Module 3: Business/IS Strategy and Planning
    • Business Process Improvement
    • Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency
    • Enterprise Architecture
  4. Module 4: Procurement & Management Support
    • Procurement
    • Energy Star Program and Quality Management
    • Compliance Audit


To pass this course, students must achieve an average grade of at least 65% on each assignment.

To receive credit towards the Master of Science in IS, for Electives/Career track, students must achieve a course composite grade of at least C+ (67%). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 (TME1)
Assignment 2 (TME2)
Discussion participation/contribution

Course Materials: Online

COMP 635 is delivered through Athabasca University's learning management system (LMS), Moodle. All course activities and resources will be available through the course website. Course materials include discussion forums, learning materials, and assignments. Assignments will be submitted online. Readings are all accessed online through links from the site (there is no printed textbook).

Open Access

All learning materials for this course are freely available and have no copyright restrictions to access. This allows the course to be made available without restriction to anyone interested in studying the subject. In addition, all materials are accessible over the Internet and can be read onscreen.

Course Designer

Comp 635was originally written and developed by Tom Worthington, an independent ICT consultant and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University. Tom teaches website design, e-commerce, and professional ethics. He also has an interest in environmental design, and is the founding chair of the ACS Green ICT Group. In 1999, Tom was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy. He is a past president, Fellow, and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Computer Society, a voting member of the Association for Computing Machinery, and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This course has been adapted under a Creative Commons license to reflect more Canadian content for delivery through Athabasca University....

From: Green ICT Strategies COMP 635, 03/31/2010

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Students setting the examinations

Jerry MaroulisUSQGreetings from the high-tech Baume Theatre at the Australian National University in Canberra, where we are hosting a day of workshops on technology-enhanced learning, with alliance partner the University of Southern Queensland. I will be talking about "Mentored and collaborative techniques in e-teaching" later in the day. At the moment Jerry Maroulis (USQ) (is presenting on "Supporting science and education students with sustainable solutions by leveraging technology". He made the claim at the start that he gets the students to write their own examination papers. That got my attention, as preparing examinations is stressful for educators.

Jerry gets groups of students to each compose six questions. He then selects the best 84 questions and provides them to all the students. Then 60 of these questions are given to the students in an examination (which can be online). The idea is that the students will select questions that they see as important. The students then feel involved in the process. It should be noted that Jerry just gets the students to provide the questions, he prepares the answers.

What I found most interesting in this was that Jerry is teaching teachers at USQ. It is likely that his students will the go on to use these techniques when teaching their students at secondary schools. It may seem that such advanced techniques using student initiative and technology based learning are not feasible at school. However, those schools are now being equipped with the same computer technology as used at university and the students are no less responsive to being empowered to learn.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Green Graduate Studies Information Evening

ANU is having a Graduate Studies Information Evening, 4 May 2010, in Canberra. One of the subjects offered is my Green Technologies Strategies course (COMP7310). Students can also ask about it at ANU Advisory Sessions in Sydney 22 May, Adelaide 10 June & Melbourne 19 June, New Zealand (Auckland 26th July, Wellington 27th, Dunedin 29th, Christchurch 30th). July 2010, Brisbane 12 August and at international events.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Mentored and collaborative e-teaching at ANU

The Australian National University is hosting a workshop on new teaching techniques with alliance partner the University of Southern Queensland in Canberra on 12 April 2010. I will be talking about "Mentored and collaborative techniques in e-teaching" and how I designed and ran a green ICT course. Comments, contributions and corrextions would be welcome.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Seminar on training green technologists online with ebooks, Adelaide, 19 - 20 May 2010

This is to offer a seminar on green technology, professional e-learning and e-books, Monday 19 or Tuesday 20 May in Adelaide.

I am an Adjunct Lecturer at the Australian National University (ANU) and a course designer for the Australian Computer Society (ACS). I will be in Adelaide for a meeting of ACS educators at University of Adelaide. So I thought I should offer a free seminar for anyone interested, assuming someone will provide a venue (ideally at or near Adelaide University).

My "Green Technology Strategies" e-learning course is offered to
University of South Australia postgraduate students as part of the 'Hubs and Spokes' Project with ANU.

The course was originally commissioned by the ACS for their globally accredited Computer Professional Education Program (first run February 2009) and is offered in the Postgraduate Program of Open Universities Australia from second semester 2010.

The textbook is available free online in the National Library of
Australia PANDORA Archive, as well as a print-on-demand book and Amazon Kindle e-Book.

The content of the course, as well as the techniques for preparing it to be part of a globally accredited program and converting the content of the Learning Management System into into a book, may be of interest.

Some recent talks:

ps: The environment and technology do not necessarily mix. On a previous visit to an Adelaide technology park, I could not see the buildings for the trees and got lost. ;-)

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Green Technology Strategies from and Barnes & Noble have my book Green Technology Strategies available in paperback (also on the Amazon Kindle electronic Book reader). Last December I pushed the button to have LuLu distribute the book. That was supposed to take six weeks, but has taken about ten weeks. I heard no more from LuLu about it and just happened to notice the book listed on Amazon today. I don't know if it is available via any of the other channels. It is supposed to also be available from Baker & Taylor, from NACSCORP and the Espresso Book Machine (but there appear to be no working book machines in Australia).

While LuLu's online process for publishing via their print on demand service works well, the distribution via other channels has been frustrating.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Data Centre GreenTech

Greetings from Data Centre GreenTech Melbourne 2010. I will be speaking on "Training Green Technologists" at 12:20am. Arriving a little late for the opening, I had a quick tour of the exhibition hall, which only has six exhibitors: Stulz Australia (cooling), SGI (Cluster computers), Micromation (UPSs), National Fire Solutions (Fire control) and Chloride (UPSs). I am yet to entirely understand the program for the conference, with the part of the program I am in (below) appearing to be just one stream. There are about 300 deligates in three rooms.
9:00 The Conference Chairman Opening Speech
Mr Spencer Denyer, Editor-In-Chief – APAC Media, Strategic Facilities Magazine
9:20 Energy Conscious Scheduling and CPU Utilisation
Global warming and climate change trends call for urgent action to manage information and communication technologies in a sustainable manner by minimizing energy consumption and utilizing resources more efficiently.

Professor Albert Y. Zomaya
Chair Professor of High Performance Computing & Networking
Director, Centre for Distributed & High Performance Computing
School of Information Technologies, The University of Sydney

10:00 Data Centre Energy & Efficiency Metrics - State of Play in Australia and Beyond
As the push for a more greener data centre and compute environment continues to grow further momentum, fuelled by the past global financial events and cost to business, we are seeing a heightened awareness and discussion around effective metrics.

Mr William Ehmcke, CEO, Connection Research
Mr Graeme Philipson, Research Director, Connection Research

10:40 Analysis of Free Cooling Methodologies for Australia
With a move towards IT operators accepting relaxed operating design conditions suitable for their particular application and site, the potential for Mechanical Services and associated Electrical Services energy saving gains is being realised in both new and existing data centres.

This presentation looks at the several methods of data centre “free cooling”, explores their advantages and disadvantages and provides a guide to the likely energy savings for some typical world wide locations compared to conventional computer room air conditioning (CRAC) and chilled water (CHW) plant systems.

Mr Peter Koulos, Associate Director, Norman Disney & Young

11.20 Morning Coffee Break

11:40 Do You Have The Will?
A small change can make a difference and a positive impact on the environment. A case study presented by Simarjit Chhabra, CIO, Xtralis on how he made changes at Xtralis which revolutionized his organization globally and helped it to leap frog ahead of its competitors.

He highlights the fact anyone can make a difference and all you need is a Will!

Mr Simarjit Chhabra, Chief Information Officer, Xtralis

12:20 Training Green Technologists
The data centre industry needs professionals trained in sustainability, quickly and cost effectively. In the current financial situation organisations can't afford to have their data centre managers, CIOs or engineers off-line for conventional training courses. The designer of the world's first globally accredited green ICT course talks about low cost mentored and collaborative techniques can be used for teaching professionals in the workplace, via the Internet, using smart phones, Apple iPads and other energy efficient technology.

Mr Tom Worthington, ACS Green Technology Course Designer, ACS

13.00 - 14.00 Networking Lunch Break

14:00 Making Your DC Sustainable
Through this insightful presentation, Glenn will take you through what operational changes you can make to take your baby Dinosaur (or Data Centre) through the Ice Age!

• How big is the DC footprint.
• Why did this happen?
• How do we adapt?
• When these dominoes fall what else changes!

Mr Glenn Allan, IS&S Infrastructure Transformation, Infrastructure Transformation Manager Data Centre / Green IT, National Australia Bank

14:40 Energy Efficiency Guidelines For Data Centres
This presentation will overview the specially developed ‘ResourceSmart Best Practice Guide’ for data centre and IT facilities developed in conjunction with Sustainability Victoria. The guide provides step-by-step directions to improving energy efficiency in small to medium sized data centres and information technology (IT) server facilities, up to 100m2. It provides basic information on system operation and outlines opportunities for improving system performance and efficiency, delivering cost savings to business and reducing carbon emissions, Through this presentation, delegates will be able to understand the key components of the guide and gain important knowledge to take back to the workplace and aide in crucial decision making around future efficiency measures.

Mr Daniel Hallett, Mechanical Engineer, ARUP

15.20 - 15.40 Afternoon Coffee Break

15:40 Cloud DR - An Optimized Approach to Workload Mobility,
Availability and Real-time Backup
Virtualization and Cloud computing is changing the mind-set of organizations, and is rapidly shaping a modern definition of High Availability and Disaster Recovery in a Multi-Subscribed Resources on demand model. Disaster Recovery vendors have allowed for new methods for protection and recovery of critical workloads, however we’re still faced with challenges of remote availability, platform dependency, efficient balancing of physical resources, mobility of workloads and operational recoverability. In his session, " Cloud DR - An Optimized Approach to Workload Mobility, Availability and Real-time backup ", Babkov will address the technical considerations for providing high availability and disaster recovery of both physical and virtual servers using traditional protection solutions as well as newer solutions that combine aspects of real-time data replication and full-server recovery. He will also cover options for x2x migration of workloads internally or externally of the cloud

Mr Viktor Babkov, founding Director, Business Continuity Asia Pacific

16:20 The Head Table Moderated Q & A Panel Discussion Data Centre Efficiencies - Infrastructure & Compute

Mr Peter Koulos – Norman Disney Young
Mr Danny Davis - CIO Institute

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lack of transparency impeding government data centre consolidation

In response to my request for input on "Training Green Technologists" Bernard Robertson-Dunn commented that "A more advanced, comprehensive and effective approach is contained in the whole of government data centre strategy that was presented to government at the end of last year." This appears to be a reference to the strategy for the Australian (Federal) Government, developed in response to the Gershon Report.

As a result I have added an extra slide to my presentation:

Good Business is Green
  • ... economies of scale through consolidation of small data centres to a shared facility ...
  • ... consolidation to shared infrastructure, such as servers, storage and networks ...
From: Data Centres Policy, Queensland Department of Public Works, December 2009 v1.0.0

The key to green data centres, and green ICT in general, is not sophisticated energy saving technology, but policies for efficient use of resources. To use energy and materials efficiently and thus be green, data centres need sufficient economies of scale. This is noted in the Queensland Government's Data Centres Policy. The Australian Government has a similar strategy prepared by AGIMO, in response to the Gershon Report, but which has not been publicly released.
The Australian Government is not alone in this approach of a lack of transparency to ICT policy, the Queensland Government Data Centre Strategy is not made publicly available, although the QGEA Policy statement appears to contain the essence of the policy. The policy says that agencies in South East Queensland must use the two government data centres. Agencies must consider using the shared equipment and networks of the centres, but are not required to do so.

It is unfortunate these government data centres strategies are not made public. Apart from the loss of this government funded advice to the private sector, most people engaged in ICT development in government agencies will not have access to the advice. This will result in a poorer policy and less effective implementation. The Australian and Queensland governments should release their reports.
Policy statement

The Queensland Government and its agencies will adopt a whole-of-Government approach to data centres as outlined in the Queensland Government Data Centre Strategy.

Policy benefits

This policy will assist government to move towards becoming a single enterprise, reduce risk and improve value for money through:
  • the provision of resilient fit for purpose data centre accommodation for the Government’s ICT systems
  • economies of scale through consolidation of small data centres to a shared facility
  • increased security through the provision of appropriate physical security, 24 hour surveillance and monitoring and auditable access control
  • certainty of costs for budgeting for ICT initiatives
  • less project risk for agency initiatives as the need for data centre “design, build and operate” tasks is removed
  • facilitates other ICT consolidation to shared infrastructure, such as servers, storage and networks
  • potential cost savings through re-assignment of computer room space to in-demand office accommodation in the Brisbane CBD.
Policy requirements

Policy requirement 1: Use of government data centres

Agencies must use the two government data centres currently located at 317 Edward Street and/or Springfield (Polaris), unless otherwise approved by the Peer Review Panel, to ensure the implementation of the whole-of-Government Data Centre Strategy and consolidation of data centre requirements across the Queensland Government.

Policy requirement 2: Use of whole-of-government solutions

Migration of agency ICT equipment to the Queensland Government data centres must include consideration for the use of whole-of-Government solutions for networks, infrastructure and enterprise management as part of the migration strategy. ...

From: Queesnland Government Enterprise Architecture Data Centres Policy, Queensland Department of Public Works, December 2009 v1.0.0

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Data Centre Green Technology in Melbourne

Data Centre GreenTech Melbourne 2010 is on 26th February 2010, with William Ehmcke (Connection Research), Albert Y Zomaya (University of Sydney), Graeme Philipson (Connection Research). I will be speaking on "Training Green Technologists": Here is draft outline (correction, comments and suggestions welcome):
Training Green Technologists

Tom Worthington
Green Technology Course Designer
The Australian Computer Society

For Data Centre GreenTech Melbourne 2010, 26 February 2010


Industry needs professionals trained in sustainability,

ACS green ICT course started in 2009:
  • Accredited formal postgraduate course,
  • e-Learning via the Internet on iPhones,
  • Designed by Tom Worthington FACS,
  • Offered by ACS, ANU and OUA

Green Technology Strategies
  • Learn online with others,
  • 12 weeks, 10 hours a week,
  • Exercises about your workplace:
  1. Estimate the carbon footprint of ICT,
  2. Assess ways to reduce the carbon footprint with ICT.

Energy saving - Data Centres

Seven steps:
  1. Determine the required services
  2. Consolidate and virtualise servers,
  3. Invest in low-energy IT equipment
  4. Optimise the layout
  5. Optimise airflow
  6. Invest in low-energy cooling
  7. Account for energy

Courses and Book

Postgraduate Programs of:
  • Australian Computer Society,
  • Australian National University,
  • Open Universities Australia:
  • Curtin, Griffith, Macquarie, Monash, RMIT, Swinburne & SA.

Book and e-book also available

More information

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Green Technology Strategies on Amazon Kindle

Green Technology Strategies Book on Amazon KindleAmazon have my e-book "Green Technology Strategies" available on their Kindle electronic Book reader. The PDF, paperback and hardcover editions remain available from LuLu (and the free web version on my web site). Amazon said it would take 48 to 72 hours to approve the book for the Kindle, but took less than a 24.

I specified a list price for the book the same as the LuLu PDF version. Amazon requires that the publisher specify a price no higher than other version, but then they added $2 to the price for delivery to the international version of the Kindle, outside the USA.

One issue with the e-book is the ISBN. I used the same the ISBN I had issued for the LuLu PDF version fo the book for the Kindle e-book version. This was because I could not find any way to enter the different ISBN for the PDF version into the LuLu system: it seems to use the same ISBN as for the printed book. As the ISBN was not used by LuLu, I tought I may as well use it for the Kindle. In retrospect, this was a bad idea, as that ISBN is already registered in library and book cataloging systems around the world. So I have now requested a new ISBN for the Kindle version. That takes up to five days.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Amazon Kindle e-Book for Australian Publishers

Amazon now allows Australian publishers to publish e-Books on their Kindle electronic Book reader. I was able to register my Australian company address into Amazon's Digital Text Platform. One limitation is that only cheque payments are catered for to Australia, not electronic funds transfer. Due to the high cost of cheque processing, there would have to be significant book sales to make this worthwhile (Google now pay by EFT in Australian dollars, making the process a lot cheaper and easier).

A few weeks ago I attempted to publish an electronic edition of my "Green Technology Strategies" book for's Kindle e-Book device. Using Amazon's DTP web site, I was easily able to convert the book from the web format used by e-learning courses to Kindle's format. But I could not publish the e-book, as Amazon did not cater for Australian publishers with an Australian address and bank account.

Amazon some useful information on how to format your book. I have several version of the book to choose from. The PDF version did not convert well. I could have used the word processing version, but mine is a master document and I was not sure how well that would convert to Microsoft Word, as accepted by Amazon. I tried exporting the OOO version to HTML, but the results were not that good. OOO generated a table of contents with hypertext links, but the links are on the print page numbers, which do not make much sense for an e-Book (as the Kindle has smaller pages than a paper book). I could have used the web version of the book, but would have had to assemble all the chapters, which are separate web pages, into one document.

What worked best was the HTML generated by the Moodle Book module. This produces a good table of contents and creates reasonably clean HTML. I just had to remember to download the CSS file to go with it and zip them for uploading.

One change I made was to move the front matter of the book to after the table of contents. While with a paper book you can quickly flip over the boring stuff at the front, with a e-book this is tedious. It is better to put the table of contents first. Readers will see the front matter if the then scroll through the book, but will quickly learn the can skip this by clicking on the first chapter in the content.

One issue to be resolved are the external hypertext links in the book. In the USA, Amazon provide limited web browsing, but not internationally. The reader can't see the difference between local links in the book and external ones. The reader could get frustrated when the click on links which do not work. I might need to hide the external links for the Kindle version, or at least distinguish them. This is possible with some more CSS.

One catch with Kindle are the high charges by I get only 35% of the recommended retail price of the book. This is more than LuLu charge. Amazon also require that I make the cover price no more than the book is available from other outlets, so I cannot set a higher price for the Kindle version of the book.

In any case I thought it was time to stop theorising and start trying it, so I pressed "publish" and got this message:
Green Technology Strategies Tom Worthington (Author) 01/22/2010 ...

Publishing Green Technology Strategies. Your book is currently under review by the Kindle Operations team as we are trying to improve the Kindle customer experience. Please check back in 48-72 hours to see if your book was published to the store. This will not affect any titles you are currently selling in the store, but uploading updates to existing titles will take longer to process...
It will be interesting to see how long this actually takes for the book to appear on the Kindle catalogue.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Green Technology Strategies Hardback Book in Print

Green Technology StrategiesAfter some problems with the LuLu publishing system, the hardback edition of my book "Green Technology Strategies" is avialable (ISBN: 978-0-9806201-4-6) This took two hours to create, starting from the paperback edition.

The process of producing a hardback edition of an existing paperback book was something I thought would take a couple of minutes. have a button to push to create a hardback if you have already set up the files for a paperback. This seemed to work, copying all the book details to the hardback. I just had to specify if I wanted the book covered in cloth (with a dust jacket) or have a glossy printed paper cover (I went for the glossy paper).

The cover and book content were unchanged from the paperback. But then I noticed there was no where to enter the ISBN of the hardback (issued by Thorpe Bowker) which is different to the paperback. A check with the LuLu help files and some head scratching told me I had to go back a step before the one I started at. The problem was that LuLu assumed I would use an ISBN issued by them.

Then the subtitle on the cover did not quite line up the way it did on the paperback. This might be due to the slight difference in the size of the cover. A hardback cover extends a few mm beyond the pages of a book, whereas a paperback cover is the same size as the pages. I had to manually break the text in the subtitle so "carbon emissions" was on one line.

Then I found the LuLu price calculator kept rounding the price up one cent more than the amount I entered.

That all took about an hour to fix. Then I realised I had to modify the content of the book to include the new hardback ISBN in the front matter (LuLu automatically generates the ISBN and barcode for the book cover, but leaves the interior up to the book's creator). That required generating a new PDF file of the entire book and checking the pagination and paragraph numbering, then uploading it. Also I had to remember to upload the new front matter to the web version of the book and the e-learning version in the ANU Moodle content management system (which is the version my students actually read).

Last of all I found that the preview of the book (so people can browse before buying) was missing. The LuLu preview generator appeared to be producing a blank preview. After going through the process a few times I discovered the preview was being generated, just not displayed.

One thing which did work was that LuLU linked the downloadable e-book, paperback and hardcover editions of the book together, so that customers can see they have three versions to choose from.

All that took another hour. I guess that publishers earn their money after all. ;-)

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Green ICT at the Library of Alexandria

Senator Lundy blogged about my book in "New E-book: how to be green in ICT" and mentioned how the PM referred to the greenhouse gas emissions savings which could be made with broadband. In checking where the book would be available "print on demand" in stores, I noticed that one is the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in Egypt. It is somewhat of an honour to have a book available in the same place the ancients borrowed their books. For the readers at the library, the e-book is available translated into Arabic by Google.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Green Technology Strategies on Google Books

Some weeks ago I uploaded a copy of my book "Green Technology Strategies" to Google Books. I just noticed it was available. I set the option to allow the whole book to be readable via Google Books.

As well as that Google allows for reader reviews and has generated a tag cloud of phrases from the book (perhaps I will use that to produce an index). The table of contents automatically generated is not very good, only picking up some of the chapter headings.

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Green Technology Strategies Book in Print

After some problems with the LuLu publishing system print on demand copies of my book "Green Technology Strategies: Using computers and telecommunications to reduce carbon emissions" have arrived. So I have pushed the button to have the book distributed by, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, NACSCORP. Retail book stores will also be able to order the book through wholesale suppliers. This will all take two to six weeks.

Also the book will be available via , and the Espresso Book Machine which prints book on demand in store. The University Bookshop and Melbourne University Library were to take delivery of one of these machines, in 2009. This will be handy for students of my Green Technology Strategies course at Monash, RMIT and Swinburne universities.

The book printing machine is surprisingly complicated, consisting of a laser printer for the inside of the book, a separate colour printer for the cover and a binding and trimming machine. There is scope here fore an industrial designer to produce a simpler device.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Green IT Answers the Challenge of Copenhagen

Opening the "Realising Our Broadband Future" forum Sydney this morning, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, stated that broadband could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by 5%. Senator Kate Lundy then launched a new book "Green Technology Strategies" to detail how to do this. saying "I would like to pay tribute to the work of Tom Worthington with his new book and training on the important issue of dealing with climate change".

Tomw Communications Pty Ltd

Media Release

Green IT Answers the Challenge of Copenhagen

Sydney, 10 December 2009, 11:30am: While the climate change conference in Copenhagen struggles, technologists and political leaders are detailing practical answers today in Sydney. Opening the "Realising Our Broadband Future" forum Sydney this morning, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, stated that broadband could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by 5%. Senator Kate Lundy then launched a new book "Green Technology Strategies" to detail how to do this. saying "I would like to pay tribute to the work of Tom Worthington with his new book and training on the important issue of dealing with climate change".

The new book "Green Technology Strategies: Using computers and telecommunications to reduce carbon emissions" by Tom Worthington, is available online for free, as well as in printed and e-book download formats: <>

The book is about how to reduce carbon emissions and achieve other environmental benefits by using computers and telecommunications technology. It is designed to be used within an online course for professionals, using mentored and collaborative learning techniques. The book is currently being used in masters level postgraduate courses offered by the Australian National University, Open Universities Australia and the Australian Computer Society.

Author and course designer, Tom Worthington, claims that using the techniques of Green IT can reduce greenhouse emissions globally by 25% by 2020. Tom Worthington, an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the ANU said: "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions rewuires us to work cleverer. As the Prime Minister said, technologies such as broadband can make a significant contribution to reducing emissions and boosting economic development.We can grow the economy and save the planet at the same time."

See also:

* Realising Our Broadband Future forum: <>
* Green Information Technology Strategies (COMP7310), Graduate Studies Select program, Australian National University: <;details.html>
* Green Technology Strategies, Computer Professional Education Program, Australian Computer Society: <>
* Green ICT Strategies (ACS25), Postgraduate Program of Open Universities Australia, available from 2010 to students of Curtin University, Griffith University, Macquarie University, Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University and the University of South Australia: <>

Authorised by, and media contact: Tom Worthington FACS HLM
t: 0419496150 email:
Director, TomW Communications Pty Ltd., PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia

Media release at:

*** Ends ***

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Planning the Future of IT Higher Education in Austrlaia

Greetings from the Australian National University, School of Computer Science retreat taking place near Canberra. Twenty nine people are spending two days working out where to take research and teaching in information and communications technology. In the afternoon I will be talking about "Forums and Feedback for e-Learning". The issued to be discussed are very much along the lines Professor Paul Ramsden, was discussing yesterday.

So far some issues were how to keep an emphasis on research (the ANU being a leader in the field) and how this could be combined with education. The classic way to do this is to have excellent postgraduate researchers and have them do the teaching. Another topic was masters by coursework. This particularly interests me as my Green ICT course is part of the ANU Graduate Studies Select program, which allows students to choose from subjects across the university disciplines (and some other universities), including online courses.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Forums and Feedback for e-Learning

I have written some notes for a ten minute presentation on "Forums and Feedback for e-Learning" for the Australian National University School of Computer Science. Comments and suggestions would be welcome. It essentially says that students teach each other via online forums, with the tutor asking a few clear questions to get things started and providing feedback.

This will be just a brief talk on the end of Lauren Kane's "Blended Learning in Higher Education".

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Open University Green ICT Course

Open Universities Australia is now offering my Green ICT Strategies course (ACS25). This is through the Computer Professional Education Program of the Australian Computer Society. The course is available to students of Curtin University, Griffith University, Macquarie University, Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University and the University of South Australia.

The course uses the same materials as COMP7310, in the Graduate Studies Select program of the Australian National University (first run July 2009). The course materials are published as "Green Technology Strategies: Using computers and telecommunications to reduce carbon emissions".
Open Universities Australia
2010 Unit Profile

Unit Code ACS25
Unit Title Green ICT Strategies
Provider Australian Computer Society
Unit Type PGD
Level of Study Postgraduate
Delivery Method Fully Online

Unit Overview
The unit is offered in response to an explosion of interest in climate change and sustainability, including a growing realisation of the high contribution of ICT. This unit investigates the contribution of ICT to carbon emissions and how technology can reduce those emissions. The
topics are drawn from practices being developed in the public and private sectors internationally.


1. Introduction to Green ICT
2. The Global ICT Footprint
3. Enabling ICT
4. Energy saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment
5. Materials Use
6. Methods and tools
7. Business process improvement
8. Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency
9. Enterprise Architecture
10. Procurement
11. Energy Star Program and Quality Management
12. Compliance audit
13. Review and discussion for assignment 2

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Problems with LuLu Publishing system

My book "Green Technology Strategies: Using computers and telecommunications to reduce carbon emissions" is available printed on demand by, or so I thought. LuLu will distribute books via conventional book stores for an additional fee. Part of the process is to purchase a copy of the book yourself to check before distribution. The LuLu system sent me a message saying the book had been dispatched, but a week later the book has not arrived and I have a curious error message. On the face of it this seems to say that LuLu's system has run out od disk space:
From: "support...
Subject: Problem with Lulu content item ...

Dear Lulu Customer,

We regret to inform you that there has been a problem fulfilling an order for Our printer has delivered us the following error:

190: CID 7798786 Error - Failed to download resource "" to local file "C:\lulu_testing\job_repository\...\7798786\7798786_cover.pdf", error was: There is not enough space on the disk

Lulu Support...

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Online collaboration for climate change mitigation in APEC

This is to request comments and corrections of "Technology transfer by collaborative online education for climate change mitigation". These are my notes for a short talk at an AusAID sponsored APEC Symposium on Climate Change in Canberra on Thursday, in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen December (UNFCCC CoP 15). The aim is to promote collaboration between business, government, education and research organisations in the Asia-Pacific on climate change. My suggestion is the use of online collaboration and mentoring, as used in the postgraduate green technology course I run for the Australian Computer Society and the Australian National University (with notes available as free web pages, a paperback book and down-loadable e-book).

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Green Technology Strategies

A revised version of "Green Technology Strategies: Using computers and telecommunications to reduce carbon emissions" is available for corrections and comments. These are the notes for the course I designed for the Australian Computer Society "Green Technology Strategies" and first run as "Green ICT Strategies" in February 2009, in the ACS Computer Professional Education Program. It is now also offered as "Green ICT Strategies" (COMP7310) in the Graduate Studies Select program, Australian National University (first run July 2009).

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Publishing e-Learning material for Kindle

A few weeks ago I attempted to publish an electronic edition of my "Green ICT" for's Kindle e-Book device. PDF did not work well, as the Kindle uses a version of the Mobipocket format. So I decided to stop at that point and see if I could create a good quality HTML document in the format Amazon requires. It appears that Moodle can generate e-Books suitable for the Kindle which has significant implications for education.

The Green ICT book was originally converted from HTML created by Moodle's Book module. I was able to upload an IMS Content package created by the Moodle Book module to and have this converted to the Kindle format. produced an 80 kByte zip file for the Kindle, slightly smaller than the original 81.5 kByte IMS content package. The Kindle archive appears to have the same folders and files as the IMS original, with an XML manifest, a folder with a CSS file and a folder with a HTML file for each chapter. The only change appears to be that the HTML 4 headers of the IMS content package have been stripped off the HTML documents.

When previewed by the Amazon's Digital Text Platform web site, the book content is displayed in a window of about 50 columns by 16 lines of text, with headings in larger font and hypertext links underlined and highlighted in blue, much like the web page original (current Kindle devices actually have monochrome screens).

Being able to provide educational content via the Kindle essentially unchanged is very attractive, but has some limitations. The Kindle does not appear to display the table of contents for the book. This is displayed in an Learning Management System (such as Moodle) from the XML Manifest. Without the table of contents the e-book is very hard to navigate. This may be a limitation of the way Moodle creates IMS content, or the Kindle online emulator (perhaps the Kindle device creates the contents page dynamically).

The Moodle Book module can also "print" a book. This produces one HTML file containing all chapters (unlike the IMS format which has each chapter in a separate HTML file). I saved this web page from the Firefox web borrower, along with a folder generated containing a CSS file and images. When Zipped, this produced a 73.7 kByte archive file. After conversion by Kindle, a slightly smaller Zip archive (73.5 kBytes) with a similar structure, but slightly simplified HTML resulted.

The converted print file looked very similar to the IMS version when displayed with the Kindle emulator. The table of contents generated by Moodle in the HTML file was displayed.

With a table of contents the e-Book has sufficient for navigation. But I will check the Formatting Guides, before trying to publish.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Publishing on Amazon's Kindle e-Book

I noticed that my "Green ICT" book was available from via a reseller. In the processing of adding some more detail about the book, I noticed that Amazon was offering to publish an e-book version on their Kindle device. So I registered with Amazon's Digital Text Platform, and started the process of submitting the book for distribution. This consisted mostly of copying the book details from where it is distributed on Lulu.Com.

However, I got stuck at the point of uploading the text. I had assumed Kindle would use PDF, so I uploaded the PDF of the electronic version I created for LuLu to distribute. To my surprise, Amazon's system then proceeded to convert this to poor quality HTML. That the HTML generated from PDF was of poor quality is not a surprise: it is difficult to put back the information lost in the conversion to PDF.

So I decided to stop at that point and see if I could create a good quality HTML document in the format Amazon requires. The book was originally converted from HTML created by Moodle's Book module, which creates good quality XHTML (and SCORM Learning Object), so it should be possible to produce something much better than the PDF easily.

However, it is not simple a matter of taking the Moodle file and uploading it, as the book has some subtle difference from the e-leaning module version of the material (as an example, they have difference ISBNs). So I may have to take the Open Office XML file I created from the HTML and convert that back to HTML. provide Formatting Guides, to help convert to HTML, with:
  1. Introductory HTML Formatting
  2. Advanced HTML Formatting
  3. Samples

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Environmental Assessment of a IT Intensive Building

You are welcome to attend this seminar on "An Environmental Assessment of the SoCS at CSIT North". Several Green ICT Sustainability students are doing similar assessments of other buildings on the ANU Campus. The results will then be combined to provide an overall report of the campus. This will likely be the most detailed such student ever undertaken of a university campus:


An Environmental Assessment of the SoCS at CSIT North

Gong Lu and Soraya Nour (ANU)

DATE: 2009-08-21
TIME: 16:00:00 - 16:30:00
LOCATION: CSIT Seminar Room, N101

Part of ANUgreen's Sustainability @ Work Program is to conduct environmental audits of workplaces around the campus. Over June and July 2009, the two speakers conducted an audit of the School of Computer Science at the CSIT North Building. In this seminar, they will report on the results of their audit. After describing the methodology for the audit, they will detail their findings in the main areas of the audit: energy & IT, water, transport, waste, purchasing & paper, and pollution prevention. In each area, they will give recommendations for improving the sustainability of SoCS at CSIT North

Gong Lu and Soraya Nour are volunteer undergraduates at the ANU who are participating in the Sustainability @ Work program.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

ANU Green ICT Working Group

The Australian National University Green ICT Working Group is meeting on Monday and I will be giving a presentation on how to teach Green ICT. ANU people which to attend can contact ANUgreen.
The Green IT working Group has now had two meetings, and will meet monthly over 6 months of this year to steer the development of a Green ICT strategy for the university. Membership of the group spans experts from across campus. The group has agreed first to measure impact of existing ICT fleet, and then tackle introducing improvements. ANUgreen has recruited a student intern to work alongside Doug Moncur from DOI to commence measurement of ICT fleet’s ecological and financial
impact. ...


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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Green ICT Course Available to UNSW Students

My "Green ICT Strategies" course (COMP7310) is now available to students in the Master of Information Technology and Graduate Diploma in Information at the School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales. The SCE UNSW Student Office has advised that their students can undertake the course as a free elective.

The paperwork for this is a bit complicated, but UNSW international students enrol at ANU as non-award, and local students as Cross-Institutional, using the same application form.

Students interested in doing the Green ICT Strategies course at ANU should contact CSE UNSW Postgraduate Office for approval to count the course as a free elective in their program.

Other universities may wish to also offer the course to their students. The course is open to business, law, humanities and science students, as well as engineering and IT.

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E-learning more popular than blended course

I planned to run the course Green ICT Strategies (COMP7310) at the Australian National University in a blended mode: e-learning via the web with optional seminars on campus. But this has not been popular with the students and yesterday I decided to drop the on campus seminars making it a pure e-learning course.

This is disappointing as I wanted to combine the best of the on-campus experience with distance education. The idea was that the students would have the flexibility to choose if they needed the on-campus component or not, each week, as their needs and circumstances dictated.

However, it has become clear that this flexibility just caused confusion. The students wanted to know if this was an e-learning course, or not. When I tried to explain about optional seminars this just confused them more.

In addition there was the cost of running the face to face seminars to consider. The seminars require about as much in resources as the e-learning component, while only making up about one tenth of the course. There did not seem to be much point in spending so much effort on something of limited value which the students did not want anyway.

Also I included the seminars as a way to make the course more palatable to more more conservative academic colleagues. I assumed that they would have a bias against pure e-learning courses, seeing them as not real courses. However, this has not been the case and they welcomed the e-learning idea. Like the students, my idea of blended mode with optional seminars just caused confusion.

I might still schedule one or two seminars during the semester and invite the students along, with staff, government and company people, to discuss green ICT issues. One student expressed interest in having their assessment by way of a seminar presentation, rather than a written essay. It may be that after the semester commences the students may welcome some face to face interaction, provided it is not seen as a required part of the course. I would still welcome speakers for seminars, but the planned "ANU Green ICT Seminar Series 2009", is cancelled.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Green ICT Masters course: learn to save the planet and make money

The marketing people at the Australian National University asked me for some material to explain the Green ICT Strategies masters course offered globally from July 2009. This is a difficult task as the course available to anyone who wants to do just this one course on its own, where you just register and pay online, as well as part of ANU masters courses and to students at other universities in Australia and around the world:
The Australian National University

COMP7310 Green ICT Strategies is a new masters course in second semester at the Australian National University, College of Engineering and Computer Science. This course is offered globally, and places are limited, so apply now: <>

TOPIC: Reduce carbon emissions and increase organisation efficiency with computers.

Solving climate change has become one of the world's greatest challenges. Computers are both part of the problem and part of the solution to climate change. This course teaches students how they can reduce carbon emissions from computers and improve organisational efficiency at the same time. Save your company money and save the planet.

Delivery Method: Via the web with optional seminars on campus.

COMP7310 is the first of ANU's new flexible courses. Students can undertake the course entirely online via the web from anywhere in the world. Optional weekly seminars are offered, but not compulsory.

Assessment: Weekly online tutorial and two assignments. No examinations.

Students are assessed on their contributions to the course weekly online discussion forum. One mid-semester and end of semester written assignment require the student to estimate the carbon emissions of ICT at a real organisation and recommend how to reduce it. Students can opt to present their results at the weekly seminar to an audience from government, industry and academia. There are no examinations for the course.

Designer: Tom Worthington FACS HLM, Green ICT consultant to government and industry.

The Green ICT course is designed by Tom Worthington, a past President, Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Computer Society. Tom has been a consultant on computer energy use to the federal Environment Department and founded the ACS Green ICT Group. Tom was commissioned by the ACS to write the world's first globally certified green ICT course, which the ANU course is a development of.

Green ICT Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do I Have To Come to the Campus To Do The Course? No, the course is delivered via the web. There are weekly seminars for those at the Australian National University in Canberra, but these are no compulsory.
  • How Many Lectures Are There? None: this is an online course using the latest e-leaning techniques.
  • So I Don't Need To Study Hard? You need to complete the set weekly readings and other activities to do well, as with any course. You are required to participate in the weekly online forums to pass the course.
  • I Am Doing A Masters In Computing, It/Engineering At Anu. Can I Do This Subject? Yes.
  • I Am Doing A Masters at ANU But Not in Science. Can I Do This Subject? Yes, the course is open to postgraduate students across the campus, in business and the humanities as well as science, provided your supervisor approves it.
  • Will I Learn How to Design Low Power Computers? No, this is a course for people who supervise those who do the technical work.
  • I Have Seen a Three Day Course Offering Green Certification, How Come Your Course Takes Weeks? This is a full university level course. You can't do that in three days.
  • I Have Seen Three Day Courses Which Cost More Than Your Course, How Can You Do It So Cheap? You don't get a free lunch with this course, just content.
  • Will This Be Of Use In My Work? Yes. The course is designed to answer questions relevant to many government, commercial and non-profit organisations, including how do we measure our carbon emissions, conform to government requirements and reduce our carbon emissions?
  • Can I Have More Time For The Assignments? No. The course requires students to participate in weekly online forums and submit two written assignments. These are an essential part of learning and have fixed deadlines. Extensions will be allowed only for medical and other genuine emergencies.
  • Do I Have To Sit An Exam? No. All assessment is by weekly forum discussion and assignments.
  • Do I Have To Write Essays? Yes. The major part of the assessment is two written assignments. However, the weekly forums are designed to help the students be ready to write their assignments.
  • I Am Studying At Another University Can I Do This Subject? Yes, provided your supervisor at your university approves it.
  • Do I Need A Degree In Computer Science? No, the course assumes no technical knowledge of computing. If you can work a word processor and browse the web, that will do.
  • Do I Have To Be Doing A Masters at ANU? No, the course may be taken independently, with a certificate of completion will be awarded. You can register and pay online.
  • Do I Have To Have a Degree in Anything? No. There are no formal qualifications required to do the subject. But students will be expected to be able to read and write to a level suitable for a postgraduate course. Reading and writing business reports would be a suitable background for a student.
For more details see COMP7310 Green ICT Strategies: <>

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ANU Green ICT Seminar Series 2009

This is to invite nominations for presentations in the ANU Green ICT Seminar Series. A six month program of weekly seminars is to be held on Wednesdays 2 to 3pm at the Australian National University in Canberra, as part of the Masters course "Green ICT Strategies" (COMP7310) . The weekly topics for the seminars have been chosen to match what the students are learning that week. Members of the ICT and related professions are invited to nominate to give a presentation, or simply to attend and discuss the issues with the students. There is no charge for attendance at the seminars, however seating priority will be given to the students enrolled in the course.

22 July: Understanding climate science

Understand environmental, social and business context for sustainability, and overview of background, boundaries.

29 July: The Global ICT Footprint

Estimate the embodied carbon and the footprint from use of telecommunications, data centres and desktop PCs.

5 August: Enabling ICT

Investigate how ICT systems can reduce energy and materials use by improving the efficiency of business systems by replacing the movement of goods with information (dematerialisation), improve the efficiency of machines (smart motor systems), logistics, buildings and grids.

12 August: Energy saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment

Computers and telecommunications equipment contributes about 2% to greenhouse gas emissions. Look at how data centres and client equipment can be made more efficient.

19 August: Materials Use

Energy reduction is only part of making a Green ICT system, there is also the issue of use of materials and hazardous substances.

26 August: Methods and tools

Ensure that appropriate methods and tools for the planning, development, operation, management and maintenance of systems are adopted and used effectively throughout the organisation.

2 September: Business process improvement

Recommend alternative solutions which reduce environmental impact, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches. ICT has the potential to provide significant environmental improvements, by replacing energy and materials consuming processes with more efficient ICT ones. How do you analyse business processes to identify alternative solutions which reduce environmental impact, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches?

9 September: Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency

Investigate how to implement and assess data centre efficiency.

16 September: Enterprise Architecture

The business of business is business, so any environmental goals have to fit into the systems capability strategy which meets the strategic requirements of the business. How do you incorporate Green ICT into the models and plans to drive forward the strategy, taking advantage of opportunities to improve business performance, as well as environmental benefits?

23 September: Procurement

Much of the environmental benefits come about by selecting the right products and services. How do you write ICT requirement documents to ensure that your hardware, software and services suppliers provide green products?

14 October: Energy Star Program and Quality Management

Ensure that the processes for producing a product or service sustainability will do so to a consistent standard. Investigate the fit between US EPA's Energy Star Program and those of Quality Management Systems.

21 October: Compliance audit

Assess the conformity of corporate systems to environmental standards, such as ISO 14000 series of environment management standards, Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and Energy Star Program.

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