Green information communications and technology (ICT) has the potential to play a major role in the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions.
There is a steady and continued progression towards more efficient equipment and, more importantly, better use of ICT to reduce emissions.
Patrick Pax is Marketing Director Green IT, M2M and Security Services at Orange Business Services. Pax was a speaker at the 3rd Annual Telecoms Energy Efficiency Forum that took place in Amsterdam on 11-12 April.
Green IT has two approaches, Pax explains.
“There is Green ICT and ICT for Green. The difference is that Green ICT is about the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions - achieving the savings of greenhouse emissions - within the ICT infrastructure for example data centres. This can apply to telecoms networks.
“ICT for Green is about looking at everything ICT can do to help reduce the CO2 emissions or generally the environmental impacts in other industries. For example the electric car has been made possible through the emergence of new telecommunications solutions that are based on machine to machine communications. Video conferencing is another example.”
Many telecoms companies active in ICT have launched initiatives in order to reduce CO2 emissions of their solutions but also to produce new solutions that help other industries to reduce their emissions, Pax adds.
“In order to make this happen we need to be able to measure the CO2 emissions of ICT solutions. There have been many different standardization initiatives going on at the level of the United Nations at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in order to come up with national methodologies that are accepted and that will provide the means to audit the measurements and also the savings that can be achieved.
“It is fundamental that if you cannot measure CO2 emissions you cannot measure them. If you cannot measure then you cannot reward the companies for the efforts they have made. The European Commission is also launching initiatives in order to make the measurements of CO2 emissions mandatory in the IT industry.”
Further measures Pax cites include the UK Government’s CRC – Carbon Reduction Commitment – making it mandatory for companies to measure CO2 emissions report them on a yearly basis, starting this year.
Looming business concerns provoked by the recession have had an effect on the green agenda.
“The reality is that Green ICT or ICT for Green was very high on the agenda about two or three years ago. But over the last two years this has lost traction because of the economic slowdown and other vital issues. However, it’s still on the agenda. Just look at what’s happening in the world right now in terms of energy in Japan and Libya. Oil is becoming more expensive again. It is obvious that energy prices will be raised over the coming years by about 15 per cent on average with electricity also becoming more expensive as a result.
“Given these price rises, people will think more seriously about consumption,” he concludes.
The marcus evans 3rd Annual Telecoms Energy Efficiency Forum took place on 11-12 April in Amsterdam.
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