Information and communication technologies are largely contributing to climate change but also hold the key to tackling it, industry leaders told a conference at United Nations headquarters in New York.
ICT companies could enact substantial energy savings in their internal operations, in design and manufacturing, and in product use, Wayne Balta, IBM vice-president for corporate environmental affairs, said, according to the UN. ICT could improve the energy efficiency of all economic sectors, diagnose the carbon emissions of a product or process and suggest its redesign, he said.
“For environmental impact, it all starts with design,” said Tod Arbogast, Dell Computer director of sustainable business, since a product’s design had an impact throughout its life cycle. Efficiency was dictated by economic reasons, since servers, personal computers and monitors accounted for more that 60 per cent of global ICT-related carbon emissions and world average electricity prices had grown by 56 per cent since 2002.”
Companies had minimized packaging, dematerialized products and were offering customers convenient recycling services, he said, adding that recycling substantially reduced carbon emissions due to raw material extraction, product manufacture, landfill and combustion.