Tuesday, 16 June 2009

TOWARDS GREEN ICT STRATEGIES: Assessing Policies and Programmes on ICT and the Environment. OECD study reveals a blind spot

OECD recently released a new study “TOWARDS GREEN ICT STRATEGIES: Assessing Policies and Programmes on ICT and the Environment”. There is a lot of interesting material in this and OECD should be congratulated for carrying out this task (not the least mapping the governments and industries focus with regards to ICT.

The focus on ICT as a problem “Green the ICT (2%)” is very dominating, while the more important area “Greening with ICT (98%)” is still very much ignored. (See the graph for governments here and the graph for industry here)

A closer look would most certainly reveal an even more unbalanced picture if the resources spent on 1st and 2nd effects (2%/98%) was presented. Most initiatives that I know of in the list that state “both” will spend 80-90% on “Green the ICT (2%)”. Some of the Government initiatives are not really in the “Greening with ICT (98%)” area even though they have said that this is their focus. Others such as Greenhouse Gas protocol have begun to look at the possibility, but their current standard have no real focus on the secondary order effects.

Maybe also interesting is that Governments seem slightly ahead of the whole ICT industry when it comes to “Greening with ICT (98%)”, unfortunately this is often only related to research and not so much actual initiatives that support accelerated uptake.

It is worth noting that no (zero) global initiative, neither business nor industry, is dedicated to the “Greening with ICT (98%)”. But very many are only looking at “Green the ICT (2%)”.

When will the first global initiative be launched that is dedicated to promote the uptake of low carbon ICT solutions, i.e a clear 98% focus?