"Efficiencies, flexible working, all-electronic information management, virtualisation and careful data centre planning, reduce environmental impact"
The green agenda is high on everyone's list. The Council of the Future will be better placed to meet the challenges because the actions needed to become the Council of the Future are ones which aso happen to tackle the green agenda.
Reducing the use of paper has an obvious green impact - less paper used, less energy used in printing (and as legislation comes through to permit high volume tasks such as Council Tax notifications to be electronic) will mean much less impact on the environment
Reducing the numbers and sizes of offices will reduce the demand for heating, and if the opportunity is also taken to move from older accommodation to more modern and energy- efficient premises, the green impact will be even greater. Some councils are already linking the heat output from their ICT systems (already much reduced through virtualisation and through modern equipment demanding less energy in the first place) to heating demands elsewhere in the office or in nearby offices.
Reducing the need for travel by staff (eg enabling social workers to travel direct from home to a client's home without the need to call in to the office to collect files) will reduce both the energy usage in travel and the congestion on the roads in peak times.
Working in concert with other agencies will reduce duplication (and hence wastage of energy) through initiatives such as shared contact centres, shared web presence, shared high street locations.