Green IT: CSC adopts fuzzy mascots in green push

Kermit shows it isn't easy being green for major IT services contractor

Role-playing and fuzzy green mascots were core to implementing sustainability initiatives at the offices of CSC Australia, according to environmental sustainability lead, Anthony Ogilve.

Speaking at the Green IT virtual conference, Ogilve said that in order to address wider concerns from staff and the media, CSC Australia implemented a program in which the office which reduced its power consumption the most received a free lunch. Under mascot "Powersaver Pete", Ogilve said the program resulted in the largest office cutting consumption by 11 per cent in three months.

"Project Kermit" was also initiated to symbolise that it wasn't "easy being green", while the company began to role play and hash out potential economic changes as a result of increasing concern of environmental consciousness, including rises in electricity costs and the proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Through those initiatives, Ogilve said the company began to "get on board slowly what sustainability meant and being able to get on the green talk, and why it has moved from a staff engagement and internal focus to a marketplace experience".

The company has since saved $60,000 in one facility by changing the men's urinals, planted a tree for every staff member, and appends a sustainability use case to every project bid.

According to its website, CSC Australia aims to reduce its per-person energy consumption in 2010 by 25 per cent from 2007 levels.

Ogilve said the company had only begun to look at green IT initiatives once it had become a mainstream social issue toward the end of 2006. While he thought CSC's industry was "relatively benign" when compared to companies in natural resources and manufacturing, the company's local sustainability programs were about recognising wider issues and taking advantage of a changing economy.

"As we all move to a carbon-averse economy, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity on the table," Ogilve said. "CSC would be leaving that there for someone else to benefit from if we didn't get involved with this."