Digital Green ICT: Enabling Eco-Efficiency and Eco-Innovation

Digital Green ICT: Enabling Eco-Efficiency and Eco-Innovation

Krunal Kamani (Anand Agricultural University, India), Dhaval Kathiriya (Gujarat Technological University, India), Paresh Virparia (Sardar Patel University, India) and Pankaj Parsania (Anand Agricultural University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-834-6.ch019
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Abstract

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an irreplaceable component of practically every aspect of human activity with its impact buttressed by the omnipresent internet. While the developed world thrives on ICT capabilities, the developing economies are using it for leapfrogging into new levels of technological advancement. Modern ICT systems are made up of a complicated mix of people, networks, hardware and software. As their spread is increasing rapidly, issues such as energy, environment and related aspects have to be addressed ensure user satisfaction without damaging the ecosystem. This chapter focuses on green ICT aims to study and practice use of computers and other ICT resources efficiently laying stress on factors like reduction of hazardous components, maximization of energy efficiency, enhancing re-cyclability and biodegradability.
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Green Ict Vision

We all recognize the critical importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) both as a large consumer of energy and primary resources and as an enabler for environmental and cultural change.

The vision for ICT is:

  • In line with the definition for Carbon Neutrality, the energy consumption of ICT on the office estate will be Carbon Neutral.

  • ICT will be carbon neutral across its lifecycle.

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Ict Contribution

Energy consumption on the government estate is not falling as much as had been expected, one certain contributor is ICT. ICT is already pervasive in government buildings and across industry via outsourced government contracts. Office equipment is the fastest growing energy user in the business world. The Carbon Trust estimates that it consumes 15% of the total electricity used in offices, expected to rise to 30% by 2020, with around two-thirds of the energy consumed by office equipment being attributed to computers. 3

However the Green ICT agenda is not just about energy efficient ICT, ICT can also be used to generate environmental benefits elsewhere in other operations. It is a key enabler for most programmes and it should play a major part in reducing carbon emissions from other areas of all activity, for example through enabling tele conferencing and video conferencing, remote and home working.

Coupled with the cultural change and more energy efficient working practices, the use of ICT can reduce both building occupancy and travel. This has knock-on benefits as government and private sector’s staffs takes these new behaviours and best practices home to their local communities. ICT can act as a powerful enabler for citizens and businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. But these changes are likely to require an increase in ICT investments, making it all the more important to ensure that the inherent carbon footprint of new ICT investments is significantly reduced. 4

In e-Governance it should mention that, “Everyone has a responsibility to set a positive example on the environment, so telling IT leaders to work with industry to find new ways to improve the sustainability of government computer systems.”

The government should work with industry and draw up evidence-based proposals for improving the sustainability of ICT used both in-house and in out-sourced contracts with service providers.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Green ICT or Green Computing: It refers to environmentally sustainable computing or IT.

Biodiesel: It is a cleaner-burning diesel fuel made from natural, renewable sources such as vegetable oils.

Biodegradable: Material that, left to it-self, will be decomposed by natural processes.

Videoconference: A teleconference conducted via television equipment.

E-Governance: It is a network of organizations to include government, non-profit, and private-sector entities; in e-governance there are no distinct boundaries

Recycle: To treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse

Carbon Neutral: Emitting no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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