back to article UK Ltd not bovvered by green blether

Companies in the UK are doing little more than paying lip-service to the idea of reducing their environmental impact, and will continue in the same vein until they are forced to do otherwise. According to research from the Green Technology Initiative, 70 per cent of firms in the UK have no plans to reduce their carbon …


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  1. Starace

    Why be bovvered?

    Companies will start worry about being 'green' if they see the cost of energy as being too high - obviously you can save money by saving electricity, but often the cost of implementing change is higher than the saving (both in money & energy), and none of the legislation proposed is likely to change that.

    And you can't really force up the cost of energy to change behaviour, the market has already increased the cost of energy enormously, but people still use just as much, which gives a hint that additional taxation wouldn't do much either.

    Buying energy from 'green suppliers' is pointless - there isn't enough genuine 'green energy' to go around, and carbon offset is at best unproven, so all you're really doing is paying more for the same product that isn't actually green at all.

    As for turning equipment off - I can state from both personal and engineering experience that power cycling is a great way to kill equipment. Of all the hardware I've had that's died in the past few months, it's turning it off that finally killed it, usually power supplies that would run fine if left active or on standby, but couldn't restart if shut down completely. Given the relative environmental impact of manufacturing then prematurely scrapping equipment, vs. the impact of leaving it on (esp. if on standby), the balance really has to go towards leaving stuff turned on full time, or on standby, until it's time for scrapping.

    Of course most of the green lobby looks for the 'obvious' solution, especially if it fits their world view; whether the obvious solution is the best one is another matter.

    Better to improve energy efficiency through the normal equipment replacement cycle, and reduce heating/cooling costs, and turn off excess lighting than to jump on the bandwagon of 'green' energy and turning everything off at night.

  2. Peter

    And then there's those two Chinese coal fired power stations coming on line every week...

    No wonder no-one's bovverd

  3. Andy


    ...are the primary, the *only* concern of any public company.

    Unless "going green" is seen to improve the share price somehow, these companies don't see it as their job to do it.

    And (in a limited way) they are quite right.

  4. Tony Humphreys

    Too costly, and unproven

    Use a green energy supplier eh! And who is going to pay for the increase in cost?

    For the simple people: Increased costs = Increasted prices = less competetive = lower sales = lower income = lower staff = get the picture. Work goes to India, China and is supplied by glorious coal generated power.

    All in the name of an unproven theory.

    Oh yes, and neither is the earth flat - that is proved, MMGW is not!

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Let me see

    We have Global Crossing and Carrenza listed as partners in this "not-for-profit" organization, not to mention Cisco and EDF.

    Global Crossing is in the telecoms business. Carrenza lists itself as being in the "peace of mind" business - you can bet their mind is set on a fair piece of your wallet. Cisco is obviously networking and EDF - well it's pretty clear what EDF does.

    So we have a coalition of high-tech IT companies and telecoms, in bed with a major energy provider, and this whole thing is not for profit ? My guess is that this is a PR piece, fluff, nothing more.

    It's nice to have a green message, but it's a bit too obvious that you'd prefer getting more green for your efforts.

  6. Steve Button

    It does not feature on most people's agendas.

    I've worked as an IT Contractor for over 10 years in many different companies and in every case using less energy, or green energy has not even been on the radar of concerns.

    That's not to say that individually many of the people I've worked with have tried to do their own thing at home (although probably more than half of people really can't give a stuff).

    I've set up a wiki at for a list of 52 things we could each do to help do our bit, and I've got about half way there.

    Many of the companies I've worked for have servers spinning for, which no one uses any more... but there is no project to decommission them, so they just get left sitting doing nothing (except converting electricity into heat).

    Worse, some IT support spend is dictated by how many servers they have, so there is negative incentive to get rid of the old ones.

  7. Rob


    Anyone think this should be where the government should be stepping in to help us all go green? Incentives and tax-breaks on green energy supply etc.

  8. Trevor Watt

    Green? Only if it earns them something.

    As with most businesses the main thing that interests business is money and they base their 'green' credentials on what it is worth.

    A typical example was on the back of a bus I saw recently saying that using the bus was the greenest way to get to the airport......

  9. Graham Marsden

    Too costly, and unproven?...

    Tony Humphreys

    > All in the name of an unproven theory.

    Let's just leave the idea of whether Global Warming is Man Made or not and consider the following:

    1) Global Warming is a myth or it won't have the effects claimed and we do nothing.

    Result - Nothing changes.

    2) Global Warming is a myth or it won't have the effects claimed and we endeavour to reduce our energy consumption and seek alternatives to fossil fuels etc.

    Result - Less pollution, lower energy demand, less waste.

    3) Global Warming isn't a myth and it will have the effects claimed but we do nothing.

    Result - Environmental and humanitarian catastrope, people in low lying countries like Bangladesh are displaced, global weather patterns get more extreme (because there's more energy in the system) huge effects on crop growth etc especially in equatorial areas.

    4) Global Warming isn't a myth and it will have the effects claimed and we endeavour to reduce our energy consumption and seek alternatives to fossil fuels etc.

    Result - Less pollution, lower energy demand, less waste, reduced environmental impact, humanitarian catastrophe, weather effects etc.

    So that's two positive results, one neutral and one disaster.

    Still, as long as Tony Humphreys doesn't have to put his hand in his pocket, he's alright....

  10. Milo Tsukroff

    Global warming is not a myth...

    ...because it was explained 200 years ago by American President and all-around scientist Thomas Jefferson. His prediction was 1 degree (probably Fahrenheit) per century. Close enough to the actual measured data for the last 200 years.

    Proof of the concept has been found on Mars, where recent events show a slow warming trend mimicking Earth's. No humans on Mars = no human-caused warming activities.

    To blame human activity for global warming misses the point. Let's prepare for it instead of trying to 'stop the clock'.

  11. popper

    just give me the power down the local shops

    "Global Warming is a myth or it won't have the effects claimed and we endeavour to reduce our energy consumption and seek alternatives to fossil fuels etc."

    the simple fat is the majority dont give a stuff about global warming/cooling/convayor belt etc.

    just give us a wimple one off personal water/hydogren based Fuel Cell,1,620,1,13416.html


    and solar in a simple place on your property and plug in to your computer kit and a nice cheap price and everyone will start to use it, i know i would as im after saving masses of cash i put in my electric meter every week, just make the damb things and put them in your local hardware street shop, B&Q and everywere else.

    a bug standrd 12v 5-50W self contained and rain water fed fual cell should start most people off if its as cheap as buying sa wireless router.

    hell start matching them up with all your low power wireless kit and we might start getting somewere in the UK.

  12. Brian Murray

    If not for social responsibility, do if for the value!

    I am baffled by the being green versus being greedy argument - these are different views of the same quality after all. The only thing that occasionally differs here is timescale and possibly impact.

    We should be green wherever because we CANNOT afford not to be. For those of us with today's wallet in mind, why waste money on extra energy or extra resources if they are not needed? For those us with an eye on the longer term profitability - apply a green strategy and see the returns multiple over decades to come. Finally, for those of us who have thought this through effectively - we already know that the green approach for strategy and design is usually the one which enables so many other beneficial approaches.

    p.s. as for Tony Humphreys view, that is probably the most expensive proof ever sought!

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