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Achieving sustainability? That's a very tough question. It's even harder to know how society would go about it - from farmers to consultants to ship-breakers to fashion designers. What we do know is that sustainability is multi-faceted, it doesn't stop at calculating carbon footprints -what about forest footprints and plastic trails?

Information Technology Industry

The IT industry is in the process of unravelling its "environmental benefactor" myth. When emails went global for white-collar jobs, it seemed almost as if paper's days were numbered. However, almost two decades later, the fallacy of this assumption is stark. Offices still go through enormous amounts of paper, the sourcing and aftermath of the components for hardware has become a huge e-ssue, plus all that energy needed to power the proliferating number of servers, laptops and printers still comes from the grid! However, these hitherto latent realities are surfacing, both within and outside the industry. There is a growing acumen of material on this topic in the London Accord already, here's our pick:

                 Green IT by Société Générale, March 2009
                 Green ICT - Pink Elephants or Real Returns? by WestLB, June 2008
                 Green IT - Fact or Fashion? SRI Briefings, Issue 17, 2008
  • Why not apply or vote for the Banking Technology Awards "Green IT Initiative by a Financial Institution"? It is awarded to the firm establishing an 'IT-led initiative that has had the greatest impact in reducing their carbon footprint'. Entries close 6 August. You may also vote in the Readers’ Choice Awards in which you can vote for your choice of the best systems across a range of product areas. Voting ends 31 August. The ceremony will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 17 November.

Financial Services Sector

Another industry that's beginning to hear the alarm-clock is the financial services sector. Sustainable and Responsible Investment in environmental, social and governance issues (often abbreviated to SRI in ESG) is a growing sector of this industry. Happily, it does exist beyond the (failing) Carbon market, and invests in forestry, clean-energy projects and micro-finance. Every single London Accord report is an SRI on ESG, so just take your pick! For an external analysis please see Chris Hewitt's (of Green Alliance) excellent piece on SRI and successful low-carbon economies - Powering Towards A Low Carbon Future "The world's governments are still very focused on economic recovery, many more policymakers are seeing the need to address economic and climate change challenges at the same time"... Read On...

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