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Addressing sustainability and putting money in the bank


Telstra and the WWF-Australia today launched a white paper that highlights how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can improve environmental sustainability for large organisations and deliver positive commercial outcomes. It also introduces a set of tools to enable Australian enterprise and government organisations to estimate the environmental and financial benefits of ICT investment.

Today’s launch comes as the Australian Government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) gets closer to implementation in 2010 setting financial incentives for organisations to adopt alternatives to increasing energy use and non-essential business travel.

Using the new Return on Investment (RoI) tools developed by Telstra and Capgemini, organisations can estimate the commercial and environmental savings from investing in four specific ICT solutions - video conferencing, flexi-working, web contact centres and field force management. The tools estimate greenhouse gas emission reductions and employee productivity outcomes by assessing the financial costs and savings to the company for each alternative.

For example:

* Video conferencing: A large company that spends approximately one million dollars in interstate travel per year could save 200 tonnes of CO2 per annum by implementing a high-definition video conferencing service that could be paid off through reduced travel expenditure in around seven months.
* Teleworking: An organisation with 1800 employees could reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 500 tonnes of CO2 per annum by encouraging 200 staff to work remotely from home three days a week.
* Web contact centres: A contact centre with 150 employees could avoid approximately 130 tonnes of CO2 per annum by providing 50 employees with access to an online contact centre system from home for three days a week. The ICT investment could be paid off through productivity improvements in around 11 months.
* Fleet and field force management: An organisation with a field workforce of 500 employees could avoid approximately 600 tonnes of CO2 per annum by adopting a mobile field force management application on a wireless device. The investment could be paid off through reduced energy expenditure in around six months, providing annual savings of about 10 per cent.

Telstra Enterprise & Government Group Managing Director, Mr David Thodey, said sustainability practices were now a critical business issue being driven by a variety of factors including government regulation, corporate social responsibility and increasing economic pressures.

“Sustainability and productivity are two key issues facing Australian organisations,” Mr Thodey said. "While some larger organisations in Australia have already invested in environmental sustainability programs, many have a limited understanding of how ICT solutions can help deliver environmentally sustainable growth.

"This white paper explains how network-centric ICT solutions can be instrumental in achieving environmental sustainability outcomes and delivers a set of tools so organisations can make stronger business cases for those investments.

“Only Telstra has made the significant investments in world class wireless and IP networks that enable enterprise and government organisations to leverage such tools. Through Telstra’s transformation program, our customers get access to the Telstra Next G™ and Next IP™ networks that hold the key to ICT solutions improving environmental sustainability for large organisations and at the same time delivering positive commercial outcomes.”

Speaking via videoconference at today’s launch, the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, said Australian organisations should be thinking about making their operations more sustainable now.

“Teleconferencing and other ICT solutions can help reduce our carbon footprint, which is why the Government has taken steps to make greater use of teleconferencing,” Senator Wong said.

WWF-Australia CEO, Mr Greg Bourne, said a recent review of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports by WWF showed that ICT can be used to deliver between two and seven billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions annually simply by scaling up proven, profitable solutions. i

“Avoiding a climate catastrophe requires all of us to find ways to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions. The cuts already proposed by the Australian Government are welcome but much more will be required if dangerous climate change is to be avoided. The opportunities to cut emissions through ICT identified in this white paper are available today and are cost effective. This white paper should be urgent reading for every large Australian organisation.”

Telstra will be providing a copy of the Sustainability White Paper to its enterprise and government customers and offering sessions to use the RoI calculator to explore potential savings through ICT investment.

A full copy of the Sustainability White Paper can be found online at Telstra’s Enterprise and Government’s Sustainability website.

i - WWF (2008) ’From Fossil to Future with Innovative ICT Solutions: Increased CO2 Emissions from ICT needed to save the climate’

About Telstra Enterprise & Government

Telstra is a leading provider of network-centric communication and managed services to large enterprise and government organisations in Australia and around the globe. Telstra serves more than half of the world’s top 500 companies through its international operations that facilitate access to over 240 countries and territories. Telstra offers superior value for money through its range of award-winning world-class products and services that are underpinned by the next generation Telstra Next IP“ network and Next G” network - fully owned and managed based on the stringent quality standards of Australia’s largest network manager. Telstra’s solutions are developed and tested in close co-operation with partners such as Cisco, Microsoft, Ericsson and Alcatel and designed and deployed for customers by Australia’s largest and most qualified Professional Network Services organisation. Telstra’s service to enterprise and government customers is internationally recognised for its high quality, including full International Customer Service Standard (ICSS) certification, backed by Telstra’s Customer Service Commitments and delivered by Australia’s largest and most qualified field and technical workforce with a culture of continuous improvement. Telstra is a financially strong and reliable partner for large enterprise and government organisations who cannot afford downtime and use ICT solutions to improve productivity and drive growth in a sustainable way.
About WWF

WWF-Australia is part of the WWF International Network, the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organisation. It has close to five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF uses the best available science to work with businesses, governments, industries and communities throughout the world to develop creative ways in which human demand for natural resources can be kept within sustainable limits. In collaboration with leading companies, WWF is working to turn the necessity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions into a business advantage.

WWF commends Telstra’s commitment to reducing and emissions for the example they are setting to their shareholders, employees, customers and the industrial sectors and communities in which they operate. Telstra and WWF-Australia have an ongoing partnership aimed at building a network of protected areas to establish safe havens for Australia’s wildlife and help them combat the impacts of habitat loss and climate change. The program known as Building Nature’s Safety Net i supports Garnaut recommendations that biodiversity conservation should be an important component of Australia’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. i


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