How Sustainable ICT boost employment! (Final Workshop of GRIN-CH)

The GRIN-CH final Workshop took place on 29 October in Lausanne, Switzerland. Would you like to know what topics where discussed? Then have a look at the presentations:

All sessions were moderated by Roland Grunder, SwissMedia.
Press Release (FR)

Does cloud computing really offer a way to reduce energy demands?

Increased use of cloud computing services could  reduce the dependence on energy and help reduce global environmental damage with savings of over $2.2 billion (€1.65 bn) and a cut in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 95% according to the findings of a study released on the 27th of June 2013 in Brussels by researchers from Harvard University, Imperial College London and Reading University sponsored. 

Cloud Computing May Reduce 95% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), the global association that promotes Green IT and promote the goal IT equipment a tool for assessing the sustainability performance of suppliers of raw materials and components to manufacture, revealed in a report that increased use of cloud computing services will reduce the dependence on energy and save over US$2.2 billion. 

From Green-IT to sustainable ICT

ICT plays an important role in the current days, it does not only change the way we work but also the way we live, organisations and individuals request more and more IT driven services, each day new e-applications appear and cloud computing (private or public) is present everywhere. To sustain this never ending demand, new ICT infrastructure comprising servers, storage systems, physical and wireless networks are developed.
This fast evolving change has a dual impact on the sustainability of our world. On one hand, ICT considerably helps to reduce the global environmental footprint of our society; for instance home working and teleconferencing solutions, e-commerce and e-government services clearly help in the diminishing of polluting travels. But, to operate these services, organisations more and more rely on new and powerful ICT infrastructures … that have negative environmental impacts. Huge quantities of energy are needed to feed the cloud and the datacenters; the networks and all the individual devices. Moreover, the conception of ICT equipment emits considerable CO2 equivalent emission, need precious and rare commodities and the end-of-life of these electronics equipment is far from green.
This has brought the issues of a greener and sustainable ICT to the attention of various entities including governments, NGOs, international standardization bodies, companies and individuals. The solution to this concern is commonly named Green-IT. Green-IT refers to environmentally sustainable computing. It is the study and practice of using computing resources with minimal or no impact on the environment. Green-IT strives for economic practicality and improved system performance while satisfying social and ethical responsibilities; it includes the dimensions of energy efficiency, sustainability, economics, and total cost of ownership (which includes the cost of disposals and recycling).
Green-IT is made of two interconnected domains, the greening OF IT and the greening BY IT. The greening OF IT refers to all actions taken by an organisation to make its IT more environmentally friendly by developing ecofriendly products, increasing the datacenter and IT infrastructure efficiency, reducing the paper consumption, introducing green criteria in the IT procurement and preparing for green project lifecycle and green software development. The greening BY IT refers to all IT projects and products allowing an organisation to reduce its global environmental footprint; like home working and smart work center policy, web based videoconferencing, electronic document management, e-services and applications.
It is sure that ICT has become unavoidable; making the role of Green-IT profiles pivotal to the success of green and sustainable initiatives by ensuring that the technology being used is « green » and power efficient, and by providing the IT tools and services needed to support organizations’ overall green investments. These Green-IT profiles must also help organisations in implementing a state of the art Green-IT governance in line with their corporate sustainable business development strategy.
Finally, new greening BY IT or ICT for sustainability profiles are emerging; they actively help to reach the ambitious 2020 European Commission energy target by participating in and promoting the most promising green-IT challenges like smart grids and smart cities projects and innovation 2.0 projects mixing ICT and sustainability.
So, let’s talk now about sustainable ICT profiles who will help organisations in a vital transformation from sustainable ICT to ICT for sustainability, open innovation and sustainable business models.

About the author:
Thierry Holoffe is Sustainable ICT Consultant of Green-ICT. Since 2009, he realizes Green-IT missions, gives public and onsite training and participates to events as speaker, focusing on Green-IT and sustainable business activities. He is a Green-IT Ambassador and endorser of the EU Code of Conduct for Datacenter.

Call for proposals in Eco-innovation

Got a great business project that could make Europe greener but don’t know how to get it off the ground? The 2012 Eco-innovation call for proposals may be for you!
The EC published a new call for green innovation within the CIP programme. The participation of SMEs is encouraged! Topics include:
  • Materials Recycling
  • Sustainable Building Products
  • Food and Drink Sector
  • Water
  • Greening businesses

More information about the info-day here.

Important dates:

Closing date of call for proposals: 6 September 2013

Green ICT helps reduce climate change impact

The Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) recently sponsored a Green Growth and Green ICT (information and communications technology) for Sustainable Development in Vietnam seminar. 
Specialists from the Republic of Korea (RoK) said at the seminar that the rapid increase in the number of ICT users had increased the amount of electronic waste, as well as global warming, so constructing a strategy on using green ICT to minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions remained vital. 

ICT for Sustainability 2013 conference: Outcomes – How to Improve the Contribution of ICT to Sustainability

The event was held in Zurich last February 2013. The experts provided a set of guidelines which are summarized in the Conference Recommendations report. The speakers and participants of ICT4S 2013, in fact, endorsed a set of recommendations to stakeholders derived from the research results presented and discussed at the conference. Statements provided by the speakers before the conference were compiled to a draft document that was then being discussed in plenary sessions. The main directions of impact of this document can be grouped into three categories with two main issues in each category: 
  • Sustainability in ICT: there is a large unused potential to save energy by designing software for energy efficiency. The power of software should be used more systematically to reduce the energy consumption of hardware.
  • Sustainability by ICT: ICT offers a high potential for more intelligent energy management in buildings, in particular for heating and cooling and in connecting the buildings to smart grids. Smart homes and offices can substantially contribute to sustainability.
  • Overarching Aspects: ICT applications can and should be used to create incentives for more sustainable behavior and to support people systematically in adopting more sustainable lifestyles.

Green ICT for Sustainable Consumption in Europe: Experts Explore Potentials and Trends

In January, more than 50 professionals from 20 countries across Europe, the US and Australia discussed in Vienna at the event “Green ICT for Sustainable Consumption?” how ICT can increase energy and resource efficiency and make consumption more sustainable. 
Modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can have a great influence on shaping a more sustainable world. The mega-trends Cloud Computing and Smart Systems in the areas of energy, transport and housing, have the potential to substantially reduce environmental impacts and, thus, green Europe’s future. The time to adjust the future development of these technologies is now, say Europe’s leading ICT- specialists.

Green IT : The squared circle

More and more companies and organisations over the world want to move to a more « Green » approach of their business but for this they need well trained and qualified employees and it is where the system lacks.
Several reasons can push a company or an organisation to become more « Green »: To be more planet friendly as it is more and more important for citizens and specially for our children. To appear more « Green » to customers and public drives more customers and increase business and benefits. The example of Mc Donald’s turning his logo from red to green is a good illustration. Also becoming more green decreases the energy charges for the company as well as decease the cost of waste re treatment. Facebook for example plan to build new data centers in Scandinavia as for cooling the computers, you just need to « open the window » (of course this is an image…) By this way the electricity costs of the company decrease strongly.
For « Greening » companies or organisations is needed to employ competent and qualified « Green » professionals. Unfortunately there are very few « Green » specialists available on the job market and few are trained by Universities and VET providers.
We also have to recognise that the profile of a « Green » specialist is not obvious ! They need to have a strong technical basis, and moreover to have strong transversal and « soft skills » competences. We can point out some difficulties of the job : To deal with change resistance in the company or organisation is something who need strong communication competences, leadership, sense of teaching, anticipation of difficulties …
If technical skills are easy to identify and to assess, soft skills and specially interpersonal skills are difficult to evaluate and by the way difficult to train. This is mainly done by working experience , but can also be trained by VET providers if well identify and well assessed.
European Commission has stated that « Green » jobs and specially « Green IT » is one of the most important engines of European comptitivity, EU co-fund different EU projects in different frameworks to solve this problem. R&D projects are co-funded in a large scale as well supporting Vocational Training improvement . GRIN-CH project supported by LLP program aim to identify the most important jobs to support the industry, to define them in accordance with European Qualification Framework (EQF) and e-Competences framework (e-CF) and compatible with ECVET (to allow employees and students mobility.
5 Professional profiles have been drafted, and are now under evaluation by professionals , then will be officially published by the e-Jobs Observatory . Training guidelines for VET providers will be issued and published.
Source : In French language : Le Monde – Planète plus intelligente

Green ICT for Sustainable Consumption in Europe: Experts Explore Potentials and Trends

More than 50 international specialists discuss mega-trends, including Smart Grids and Cloud Computing attended the 2nd multinational knowledge brokerage event “green ict for sustainable consumption?” held in Vienna in January 2013. 
Modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can have a great influence on shaping a more sustainable world. The mega-trends Cloud Computing and Smart Systems in the areas of energy, transport and housing, have the potential to substantially reduce environmental impacts and, thus, green Europe’s future. The time to adjust the future development of these technologies is now, say Europe’s leading ICT- specialists.