November 5, 2020
3 min read time

Greener government: Discover hidden pro-eco IT techniques


In organizations all over the world, sustainability has become a watchword. This may be especially true in the public sector, as governmental and civil sector agencies are often tasked with the responsibility for implementing, overseeing and policing society’s sustainability initiatives. For as much political talk as exists around “government waste”, public sector entities have led the way in introducing sustainable policies, actively seeking ways to be better “green citizens”. Having a duty of care as a steward of the public good, and a responsibility to meet sustainability objectives, public sector agencies, big and small, have made strides in reducing energy consumption, introducing recycling initiatives, implementing green procurement programs and requirements, and so forth.

Yet there’s still a long way to go at every level of government, and the pressure is on to show demonstrable progress both in terms of reducing the public sector’s environmental footprint and in terms of rooting out excessive costs and inefficient processes and programs. 


carbonfootprint-slide-ERID-jumbo-v2Source: New York Times


Green underneath

While government agencies look at their IT setups as a cost center, and evaluate how to reduce equipment and maintenance costs, one often overlooked area of savings and efficiency is the digital footprint of the agency’s online activity. For example, a government agency’s website. Usually government websites are heavy, providing extensive information to the general public about their operations, available public services, etc. This web footprint is reliant on energy-hungry data centers and their carbon footprint. The website as a link in a long carbon-footprint chain is both significant and easy to forget when developing the sustainability policy and action plan. As digital activity increases -- which we know will happen, and has happened at an explosive level during the Covid crisis, particularly for public sector organizations -- the carbon-fueled energy demands will increase in parallel. 


Getting the green to balance

With notoriously tight budget constraints, public sector agencies tend to look first at the bottom line. “Green”, eco-friendly solutions sound expensive and as though they promise more than they deliver. Such solutions also may require considerable digital disruption in organizations that can be slow to move or make significant changes. On the other hand, government agencies are tasked with predicting the long-term outcome of their efforts, meaning that sometimes the benefit outweighs the upfront costs. 

With some technology solutions, though, the benefits are immediate -- in terms of efficiency, cost, and performance, and the reduced carbon footprint is icing on the cake. We’ve worked with public sector agencies to help them optimize their content delivery with caching technology, which has led to: 

  • Web performance gains, including reduced page load times
  • High availability, ensuring uptime
  • Reduction in number of servers needed, which leads to cuts in energy expenditure (and CO2 emissions)

Caching not only helps deliver better user experiences with speed and performance, it helps reduce infrastructure costs by making the most of what resources you already have. 

Deploying smart caching for smart content delivery not only delivers efficiency boosts, performance gains and cost savings, it helps reduce the environmental impact of your operations.