We have formally adopted the drive for Net Zero and the promotion of Green IT as one of our four organisational policy and campaign priorities.
BCS will promote Green IT as a way to understand the challenge, for example through data science. We will also explore sustainable IT’s place in achieving Net Zero solutions.
According to The Royal Society’s 2020 report, Digital technology, and the planet: Harnessing Computing, ‘to achieve Net Zero nearly a third of the 50 per cent carbon emissions reductions the UK needs to make by 2030 could be achieved through existing digital technology’.
Green IT and Net Zero Mission
The world will achieve Net Zero more rapidly with support of digital and data technologies.
Digital professionals should be able to demonstrate they are doing everything possible to reduce carbon emissions through developing, using and promoting digital technologies that support achieving Net Zero.
As part of the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC), BCS has called for an economic recovery that pivots the UK towards Net Zero, rather than one that locks us into a high-carbon future.
What is BCS doing?
We publish opinion and thought-leadership from a diverse range of voices bringing ethical perspectives, professionalism and technical insight to the climate change challenge.
We are consulting across our membership community of IT professionals to gather their views on potential innovations and actions such as:
- Open data
- Green data centres
- Maintenance, reuse and recycling of electronic waste
- Home working
- Sustainable adoption of cloud infrastructure
- Carbon transparency reporting for organisations
- Restrict ‘proof of work’ cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin
Our research and polling will be published in the coming weeks.
John Booth, Vice-Chair of our Green IT Specialist Group, a reviewer for the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres (EUCOC) programme led our most recent webinar on the role of tech in climate change.
Our Barefoot Computing programme supports primary schools teachers to deliver the computing curriculum brilliantly, for example with free learning resources and workshops. We have released new materials for teachers and schools to become climate change champions ahead of COP26.
BCS’s Society Medal recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to promoting IT’s role in Society. Our 2021 award is focused on Green IT. We are currently in the process of reviewing nominations and will be announcing the winner shortly.
A community of IT professionals and enthusiasts who are passionate about Green IT; Anyone interested in the sustainable use of computing can come to a meeting across the UK where everyone is welcome, members and non-members alike.
The Green Apprenticeship Advisory Panel has identified existing apprenticeships, including 12 of the standards offered by BCS that best support green career pathways.
Green IT: Create your own event
October 2021 - March 2022
BCS members and others interested in this area, are invited to use the resources below to create their own events around the challenges and opportunities for IT in the drive to Net Zero.
- Green IT event package guidance (PDF)
- Green IT and Net Zero event presentation (PPT)
- Green IT event response template (MS-Word)
- Green IT event social media posts (MS-Word)
Latest articles, opinion and research
Explore our other priorities
Artificial intelligence (AI)
BCS wants to see the creation of a diverse ethical AI workforce, as we believe this is central to reducing machine learning bias. The government listened when BCS advised there needed to be an increase in MSc computer science courses, with ethics built-in to the curriculum. We also examine key issues around the use, and misuse, of AI.
Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion as standard; that’s the common goal for our industry. Yet women account for only 20% of IT specialists; and BAME IT professionals are less likely to be in senior roles, despite being better qualified. Like many industries, there are complex and wide-ranging challenges we have to face. At BCS, we’re facing them together as a priority.
We support the teaching of rigorous and relevant computer science across the academic spectrum, from primary schools to universities. We are also the end-point assessor for the thriving digital apprenticeship sector.
Health and care
Digital health is undergoing rapid change and BCS, as the professional body for IT, is committed to supporting the establishment of regulated professional standards in this sector.
Tech and society
From cyber security, through to online safety, technology affects us all. BCS policy looks at the wider uses of technology. As a charity, as well as the professional body for IT, our aim is to make IT good for society.