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Exploring the green potential in digital


Helen Olsen Bedford Publisher

A range of new perspectives on how the public sector can use digital technology in its sustainability efforts emerged from last week’s 'How Green is our Digital?' event.

Staged by UKAuthority and Microsoft, it took place against the backdrop of increasing numbers of local and regional authorities declaring climate emergencies, and a growing realisation that how they use digital tech is going to play a big part in meeting their own sustainability goals.

The event focused on how organisations need to think about their sourcing, deployment and disposal of digital equipment and services, to pay more attention to the possibilities for re-use and recycling, and how they can use data technologies to create more environmentally sustainable communities.

It included perspectives from the Government Digital Service and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on important aspects of the movement, examples of local and regional initiatives that have begun to yield benefits, and insights from technology, data and business specialists on how public authorities can raise their game on sustainability.

Overall, it provided a great learning experience and plenty of thought provoking ideas and reflections for any authority thinking about how to ensure the green credentials of its digital tech.

You can watch all of the presentations individually below. You can also download the event information here. And a copy of the report that was launched at the event here.

Sustainability in the public sector

Chris Perkins, General Manager Public Sector, Microsoft UK

Sustainability in the Public Sector and why this is important - findings of the UKAuthority survey in local and regional government. 

Download the slides
Watch the full presentation

Implementing sustainability in IT

Mattie Yeta, UK Government Sustainability ICT Lead, Defra

Mattie shared examples of where and how to implement sustainability within your technology function. Sustainable procurement is just one factor of many.

Download the slides
Watch the full presentation

How do we reduce the carbon footprint of digital services?

Emily Labram, Senior Product Manager, Government Digital Service

Emily explained how the Government Digital Service estimated the CO2 footprint of their websites, and what they’ve done to reduce it.

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Watch the full presentation

Supporting local authorities in our region

Anna Bright, Chief Executive, Sustainability West Midlands (SWM)

Anna covered the way that SWM are using their expertise and cross-sector networks of stakeholders to support local authorities in the West Midlands to improve their sustainability in line with the region's Sustainability Roadmap to 2030.

Download the slides
Watch the full presentation

Panel - Morning session speakers

Panel discussion with: 

Chris Perkins, Microsoft
Mattie Yeta, Defra
Emily Labram, GDS
Anna Bright, Sustainability West Midlands

Sustainable Cambridge: a test bed for sustainable cities

Dan Clarke, Smart Cambridge Strategy & Partnership Manager, Cambridgeshire CC

Bill Wilson, Head of Data & Analytics, Kainos

This session will discuss the work that Cambridge is doing in partnership with the university and industry innovators to understand and influence carbon emissions in line with civic ambitions. Data - at the right grain and scale - is at the heart of true digital transformation and is the starting point for making a rapid and significant impact on the decarbonisation challenge. Dan will look at how this is being applied in Cambridge and Bill will discuss how it is impacting other cities, including the work being done by the Urban Data Project (a partnership between Smart Cambridge, Kainos, Microsoft and Samsung).

Download the slides
Watch the full presentation

Digital Cities

David McGovern, Regional Director, Bentley

How to utilise Digital Twins for better decision-making - digital twins are there to give you a platform to test scenarios and hypotheses and also to get a better understanding of the performance of the city.

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Watch the full presentation

Greener Meetings & Culture Change

Gareth Bedford, Head of IT Portfolio, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Mark Reynolds, Founder, Hable

It makes sense that moving meetings online can help to reduce an organisations carbon footprint, by reducing travel. But what is stopping more organisations from doing just that? Its simple: Culture. In this session we will explore how we can start to change the culture in local government, using the ADKAR Change Management model.

Download the slides
Watch the full presentation

Panel - Second morning session speakers

Panel discussion with: 

Mark Reynolds, Hable
Gareth Bedford, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Dan Clarke, Cambridgeshire County Council
Bill Wilson, Kainos
David McGovern, Bentley

On the path to “net zero” by 2050

Jean-Marc Jefferson, Business Advisor, N2S

Our journey with our clients and partners as we set our sights on carbon neutrality by 2050. The things we do today and our plans for tomorrow. Lastly, some practical things everyone can do immediately with little additional effort and cost.

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Watch the full presentation

Microsoft’s Moon Shot

Ellen Wilson, Industry Manager Government, Sustainability and Smart Cities, Microsoft UK

This session covered Microsoft’s recent global sustainability announcements and its relevance to the Public Sector here in the UK.

Download the slides
Watch the full presentation

Panel - Afternoon session speakers

Panel discussion with: 

Chris Perkins, Microsoft
Ellen Wilson, Microsoft
Jean-Marc Jeffersen, N2S

Click here to see and book future UKAuthority events


Event picture gallery


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