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New ICT index to reduce emissions

08 September 2009

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International Development Corporation's newly launched ICT Sustainability Index will guide nations in effectively meeting internal and international emission targets. The index score will help countries compare their current energy profile with their spending patterns to prioritise ICT investments in major sectors.

Framingham, Massachusetts: IDC announced plans to create an index that scores a country's ability to use information and communications technologies (ICT) to effectively reduce its CO2 emissions.

Image credits: Environmnet-Green/ Harmful emissions

Results of the first IDC ICT Sustainability IndexTM will be released prior to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held December 7-18, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The ICT Sustainability Index utilizes a variety of inputs to determine a country's ability to use ICT to reduce its CO2 emissions. In addition to population and GDP data, the Index correlates a country's current energy profile with its ICT investment and spending patterns to help make climate change targets attainable

Cutting emissions

By using additional ICT-related input factors to this base line, the Index score also effectively measures a country's readiness to leverage ICT to lower its carbon emissions.

The Index scores will allow IDC to rank nations fairly and transparently as they tackle the long-term challenge of environmental and economic sustainability.

The Index will be accompanied by a special study offering qualitative recommendations to policy makers on where ICT investments can contribute to achieving climate change goals

"Countries need help to better understand where they should invest in ICT"

"There have been many attempts to set goals and targets for nations to reduce their CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions," said Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer, and Telecom Research.

"The United Nations has led the way by highlighting the need to reduce emissions within specific time periods. However, IDC believes that countries need help to better understand where they should invest in ICT in order to meet any internal or international targets.

The ICT Sustainability Index will help countries to prioritize ICT investments in major sectors, such as manufacturing, transport, and housing, as part of their overall climate change strategy."

An actionable plan

The IDC study will bring forward leading technology strategies within each of the major sectors. Chris Ingle, associate vice president, EMEA, added, "We currently have surveys in the field and IDC analysts worldwide are matching ICT technology roadmaps that have a realistic and material impact on reducing CO2 emissions. Our objective is to give countries an actionable plan."

IDC has already tested the ICT Sustainability Index methodology using the G20 group of nations as a sample. Roberta Bigliani, EMEA research manager, IDC Energy Insights, stated, "The G20 is a good place to start since its combined GDP, energy profile, and ICT spending power account for almost 75% of the world's wealth and energy creation and consumption."

Green initiatives

The ICT Sustainability Index is part of IDC's holistic Green initiative, designed to help decision makers understand the role of technology in addressing the challenges and opportunities amidst today's energy, environment, and sustainability requirements.

Since being launched in 2008, the initiative has produced important research on data center power management and automation, the promotion of green procurement in Asia/Pacific, and document management policies in the enterprise.

IDC's Industry Insights companies have also done ground-breaking research on how vertical industries from manufacturing and healthcare to retail and government can use the latest IT tools and services to support a company's overall green initiative.

Finally, IDC's Green Recycling and Asset Disposal for the Enterprise (G.R.A.D.E.) certification process assesses the functions and tasks used by IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) vendors to ensure that they meet the strictest regulatory, security, and environmental standards.

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