IT students first in green revolution

Tuesday, 30 June, 2009

Box Hill Institute’s new ‘Green IT’ students will be the first in Australia fully prepared to manage the government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme when it comes into effect in the near future.

The Vocational Graduate Certificate in ICT Sustainability, teaching IT graduates how to implement sustainable IT initiatives, will be launched at Box Hill Institute on 25 August.

According to the course director, Frank Mentiplay, many companies will be caught short by the government’s carbon reduction scheme.

“Box Hill Institute has responded to the government’s scheme by developing a course to help companies meet their legislative requirements via their IT department. We’ve analysed the legislation and found that if companies affected by the scheme don’t start acting now, they are going to find they’ve left it too late,” said Frank.

“As far as we are aware, Box Hill Institute is the only educational provider directly tackling this issue in a business sense. Our new course will not only look at the issues surrounding how to make IT within an organisation green, but how to implement that cultural change within a company.”

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will place a cap on the amount of carbon pollution a company can emit. It will require affected businesses and industry to buy a 'pollution permit' for each tonne of carbon they contribute to the atmosphere, giving them a strong incentive to reduce pollution.

However, it is not only government legislation that will effect how businesses ‘clean up’ their IT but also consumer demand.

“Information technology is ubiquitous to every department and every industry, so it makes sense that one of the best places to tackle carbon emissions is in the IT department. Consumers want to buy from companies that have good environmental policies, but they can see past the ‘greenwashing’. The students from this course will be able to improve a company’s environmental reputation by working on their current IT technology and also by introducing new technology which reduces carbon waste, like ‘virtual presence’ and ‘cloud computing’," said Frank.

“These measures also make sense for a company’s triple bottom line, that is, the social, ecological and economic aspects of a company. Our students will have the knowledge about which technology changes can reduce carbon emissions, how to analyse and report on those changes and how to present those changes to management. They are going to be highly sought-after employees in this legislative and purchasing environment. In the long term, companies training their current employees in these skills will save money by not having to hire external consultants.”

Box Hill Institute is currently taking enrolments for the first intake of the Vocational Graduate Certificate in ICT Sustainability.

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