Thursday, May 28, 2009

Final thoughts - OECD ICT conference

Well I've certainly learned a lot over the last 2 days. Including that I can attend a conference taking place in Denmark virtually (kudos to the OECD folks for such a fantastic video connection - superb quality).

Today's afternoon sessions focused on summarizing key messages and recommendations. I'm including them below in their preliminary state (the comments from participants have not yet been integrated).

8 key messages

  1. The current crisis is an opportunity for change towards knowledge-driven growth; ICT is the key ingredient.

  2. The ICT sector can take leadership in a low-carbon economy and drive socio-economic change.

  3. ICT does not save the climate automatically, Business as usual may lead to disaster.

  4. Beyond energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy is important (e.g. for data centers).

  5. A sustainable society is more than a low-carbon economy. There are issues beyond climate change: resources, recycling, working conditions, human rights. We should maximize both "quality of life per bit“ and "bits per nature“.

  6. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a key methodology to measure ICT impacts (first and second order).

  7. In order to stimulate behavioural change, Green IT solutions must be simple and seamless, but should not exculpate users from responsiblity.

  8. Extending the service life of ICT end-user devices is key to reduce the life cycle impact per time.

8 Recommendations

  1. ICT policies and information society strategies must be integrated into climate and environmental policies and strategies.

  2. Green ICT policies must rely on a life cycle perspective (not only consider the use phase)

  3. Support the exchange, standardization and integration of Life Cycle Inventory data.

  4. Develop standardized metrics for net CO2 emission reductions by ICT applications (including 2nd- and 3rd-order effects) and other environmental impacts.

  5. Public procurement should consistently demand for "green“ improvements (e.g. thin client solutions).

  6. To promote Green IT, rely on flagship projects and disseminate best practices.

  7. Governments should lead by example (by using Green ICT solutions in public administration, including instruments such as Green ICT scorecards and reducing the energy consumption of public buildings)

  8. Fiscal tools should be used to stimulate investments in energy efficient technology and to set up the system environment for positive third-order effects.

These are of course, recommendations at the governmental/industry level.

At the individual level, my take away is that these policies and plans require all employees of governments and industry to take this green (ICT and otherwise) message to heart. This is the new way of working and we need to be engaged and help our governments and industries meet their targets.

I know I'm buzzing with ideas for possible green ICT campaigns at my office.

This is where the rubber hits the road.


Irma said...

I have read your posts on the conference, and they really do seem interesting. I wish I had UNDERSTOOD more of it though, lol !

Green Grrl said...

Hi Irma,

I know - I'm sorry. I promised I wouldn't get too technical and then I went and blabbed on about data centres and broadband and.....

Don't worry, the next few blog posts will have nothing to do with IT! :)