Organisations are struggling to cope with the growth of datacentres, but under-use existing infrastructure. Furthermore, a third of ICT departments estimate that they will run out of physical space for data storage within 12 months; 60 percent expect to run out within two years.

That's according to a survey conducted by Computerworld UK on behalf of practical environmental charity Global Action Plan.

The survey found that two-thirds of IT departments surveyed have already used 75 percent of their datacentre floor space.

Most data retention and storage polices are not environmentally sustainable, according to the national survey of IT professionals of large enterprises.

Furthermore, most enterprises under-use their existing data storage facilities. Nearly 37 percent store all data indefinitely. A fifth - 20 percent - only use under 30 percent of their server capacity. And a worrying 36 percent of respondents do not know or cannot measure how much of their server estate is being used.

The results reveal an alarming attitude towards the environmental damage caused by datacentres. Recently Gartner stated datacentres account for a quarter of IT-related carbon emissions, which in turn make up two percent of the world's total carbon emissions.

The research, which was backed by Logicalis, surveyed around 120 IT professionals that collectively manage more than 500,000 workers in the UK, and have a combined budget of more than £475 million.

Global Action Plan launched the survey as part of a larger in-depth report called The Inefficient Truth to politicians, environmental and IT industry leaders at a special event at the House of Commons today. In the in-depth report, the charity detailed technology strategies that could improve datacentre efficiency, such as consolidation, intelligent datacentre design, dynamic cooling and server virtualisation.