Publication - Advice and guidance

Scotland's Digital Future: Scottish Public Sector Green ICT Strategy

How Scottish public sector organisations can reduce carbon emissions; plan for carbon reduction; and meet the Scottish Government's environmental targets.

40 page PDF

654.8 kB

40 page PDF

654.8 kB

Scotland's Digital Future: Scottish Public Sector Green ICT Strategy
Workforce - embedding behavioural and cultural change

40 page PDF

654.8 kB

Workforce - embedding behavioural and cultural change

People are using ICT and digital tools in their daily life whether its at home or in the workplace. Although its usage is unconsciously embedded it is rare that people are taught how to efficiently use it.

Organisations have a role to ensure that their workforce use ICT equipment and applications as efficiently as possible to ensure that energy and cost savings can be achieved. To achieve this the Scottish public sector needs to develop staff to think environmentally friendly.

To enable people to make informed decisions it is important to motivate and encourage engagement in the workplace to deliver environmental changes and change habitual behaviours.

Organisations are encouraged to:

  • deliver information in an engaging and positive way;
  • maximise the message conveyed with interactivity and discussion;
  • link individual actions to the bigger picture to personalise the issue and help people to recognise the power of collective will.

It is recognised there are two groups of ICT users in the workforce who view its implementation and usage in different ways, there are the ICT professionals and the general workforce.

ICT professionals

Examples of areas that ICT professionals should consider when delivering their digital services to promote a greener environment include:

  • adopt a data hosting road map moving from data centre rationalisation to colocation and virtualisation and ultimately to hosting data, where appropriate, in cloud based services to achieve potentially considerable financial savings (e.g. in power consumption);
  • looking at power consumption and reduction in power consumption when upgrading ICT hardware;
  • operating systems that allow computers and other hardware to be put into sleep mode during periods of inactivity;
  • investigating carbon offset programs to offset ICT carbon emissions;
  • implement desktop virtualisation using ultra small and thin clients on the desktop which will reduce power consumption, reduce PC maintenance costs, increase security and set up new workgroups quickly;
  • switching off non-essential servers;
  • using energy management software tools.

General workforce

Education programmes that introduce behaviour changes should be encouraged, such as:

  • turning off equipment at night (although this is not required if power management tools are deployed - see best practice examples and case studies);
  • printing less ;
  • reducing email traffic;
  • using video conferencing
  • raising the consciousness of staff of the negative impacts associated with "non-Green" behaviours

In order to achieve this, and ensure alignment with the assessment and prioritisation tools of The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act, 2014, ICT procurement processes will need to consider the following (the maturity levels and considerations are aligned directly to the Green ICT Maturity Model in Annex A):

Maturity Level



  • establish a commitment to a Green ICT Champion to drive sustainability;
  • provide basic training in Green ICT, and establishing (but not delivering) a programme of advanced and/or refresher training to senior/key staff;
  • communicate Green ICT principles to all staff to promote energy efficiently principles (e.g. turn off computers at night; digital by default to reduce staff travel via use of on-line collaboration tools).


  • provide training to embed basic Green ICT principles across all the workforce;
  • completing advanced/refresher training in green ICT to all senior/key staff.


  • include delivery of environmental and socio-economic outcomes in Green ICT into performance objectives and appraisals of senior/key staff.


  • include Green ICT objectives in competencies for the recruitment of key staff where appropriate.


  • undertake a review to determine future priorities (including a skills audit of the workforce to plan future skills requirements; matching ICT capacity to demand with minimal requirements to reduce the staff to device ratio, etc.).