Green ICT Obligations for Corporates

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM

Adjunct Lecturer, Australian National University

For ACS Green ICT SIG, Canberra, 23 May 2012

Large organisations in Australia are already required to report carbon emissions each year and from 1 July 2012 carbon pricing will be introduced, effecting all organisations. What are the impacts for business and government; for example how will e-Waste regulations effect the disposal of equipment in future. Tom will be undertaking a review of the Greening of Australia and both the responsibilities and the opportunities for individuals and organisations.

Tom Worthington is the designer of the ACS Green ICT course and also the ANU ICT Sustainability course. He will discuss how ICT professionals can have a role, or even a new career, in helping their organisation meet its green requirements.

For more details see the free online edition of Tom Worthington’s book "ICT Sustainability: Assessment and Strategies for a Low Carbon Future"

This talk is intended to map to SFIA Skills:

  1. Sustainability Assessment and Requirements Definition
  2. Sustainability Strategy and Management

Tom Worthington FACS CP

Tom Worthington at TEDx Canberra 2011

Tom Worthington

Tom Worthington is a computer consultant and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University. Tom teaches green computing, professional ethics and electronic document management and is also a member of the ANU Climate Change Institute. He was previously a senior IT policy adviser at the Australian Department of Defense. In 2008 Tom was commissioned by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) to design the world's first globally certified online postgraduate course in Green ICT. He was recognized for this work with the award of "ICT Educator of the Year for the ACT" in 2010. Tom is a Fellow, Past President, Honorary Life Member and Certified Professional of the ACS. Tom is a voting member of the Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme

Australian Carbon Pricing Mechanism


Disposal of Electronic waste ("e-waste") from unwanted electronic devices is regulated locally, nationally and internationally:

  1. International Basel convention is implemented in the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act (Commonwealth of Australia, 1989).
  2. National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, puts a levy on importers to pay for disposal

Sustainable Policies

  1. Queensland Government Operational Concept - Sustainable procurement (2008)
  2. Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan 2010 - 2015, has agency targets are reporting

Sustainable ICT Deliverables

From About Corporate Responsibility, Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS)

Microsoft Corporate Carbon Tax

"carbon fee" on all Microsoft business divisions from 1 July 2013

Similar to the Australian Government's carbon pricing scheme.

Microsoft has announced that they will introduce an internal "carbon fee" on all business divisions, with the aim to be carbon neutral from 1 July 2013 ("Making Carbon Neutrality Everyone’s Responsibility at Microsoft, 8 May 2012 12:01 am). Microsoft's approach is very similar to the carbon pricing scheme which the Australian Government is introducing.

Microsoft also have:

  1. Smarter buildings pilot at the Microsoft Redmond campus
  2. CarbonSystems to monitor and report environmental metrics.
  3. IT Energy Whitepaper

ICT Sustainability Steps

  1. Strategy
  2. Requirements
  3. Management
  4. Evaluation

Sustainability requires few additional skills from ICT professionals. They need to learn a little about climate science and environmental law. They need to know techniques for estimating energy use and carbon emissions. Implementing this in a business requires the same skills of Strategy, Requirements, Management and Evaluation, as other ICT tasks.

Alignment to ICT Sustainability Skills

  1. Sustainability Assessment and Requirements Definition
  2. Sustainability Strategy and Management

From: Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), Version 4, SFIA Foundation, 2010

ICT Sustainability Jobs

“We are seeking a qualified, highly organised person with excellent communication and problem solving skills to undertake research to investigate the current size and makeup of the University's computer fleet. The project will identify ways to reduce the carbon footprint of ICT and work towards the installation of energy efficient technology that reduce ITs environmental impact....”

From: "Green ICT Project Officer, Australian National University, 11 February 2011

ICT Sustainability Courses

  1. Green Technology Strategies, Computer Professional Education Program, Australian Computer Society (first run as "Green ICT Strategies" in February 2009)
  2. Green Information Technology Strategies (COMP7310), Australian National University (first run July 2009)
  3. Green ICT Strategies (COMP 635), Athabasca University, Canada
  4. Foundation Certificate in Green IT, British Computer Society:
  5. Vocational Graduate Certificate in ICT Sustainability, Box Hill Institute

More Information

  1. Conference paper: WORTHINGTON, T. 2012. A green computing professional education course online: designing and delivering a course in ICT Sustainability using Internet and eBooks. 7th International Conference on Computer Science & Education. Melbourne, Australia: IEEE. URL:
  2. Book: "ICT Sustainability", Tom Worthington, 2011: Kindle, iPad, ePub, PDF eBooks, Paperback and web
  3. Work-Integrated-Learning: With E-books and E-Learning, for the Australian eLearning Congress, Sydney, 8 February 2012
  4. Green ICT Strategies COMP7310, Masters program, The Australian National University, from July 2009
  5. ACS Green ICT Course
  6. North American version adapted by Brian Stewart, Athabasca University (Canada): Green ICT Strategies (COMP 635)
  7. Tom Worthington
  8. This document is available at:

Slides for these notes are also available.

Version 2.0, 23 May 2012, Tom Worthington

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Green ICT Obligations for Corporates by Tom Worthington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.