• IT programme cuts costs for council
  • Computer upgrades reduce carbon emissions
  • Bigger benefits coming on line  

The cost of running The Highland Council’s computers has been slashed by over £500,000 in a year – and further savings are on the way.
In the 12 months to September 2011, electricity costs for IT equipment in schools and council offices dropped from more than £1.3 million to just over £800,000.
A detailed report on the progress of the authority’s IT renewal programme also predicts the costs are set to drop even faster in the current year – by more than half again – as efficiencies reach full pace.
This means the council’s costs will have shrunk by nearly 70 per cent in two years as a result of the £66 million contract with Fujitsu to replace and upgrade office and school IT systems. The aim of the contract is to cut the council’s energy use and carbon emissions while improving its operations and services.
As well as financial savings, the first year’s energy efficiencies have cut the greenhouse gas output by 39 per cent – or nearly 3,000 tonnes a year.
Council Resources Committee chairman Carolyn Wilson said: “These financial and environmental improvements are now building to generate significant gains for the organisation and our council tax-paying community.
“They are a key part of our ICT transformation project, along with the major thrust to modernise and improve our operations, and to boost the efficiency of our services and education provision.”  
ICT contractor Fujitsu’s Scotland Director Brodie Shepherd said: “Our contract with The Highland Council specifies significant carbon saving gains, along with the major operating efficiencies.
“These energy demand cuts, along with other initiatives including recycling of used computers for community use, put the region in the forefront of positive environmental practices.”

For further information please contact:
Peter Kane: 07742 308213;
John Ross: 07730 099617;

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IT programme cuts costs for council; Computer upgrades reduce carbon emissions; Bigger benefits coming on line
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