Summary of the event
ICT plays a dual role in respect of environmental issues: as part of the problem with the resources and energy it consumes generating significant greenhouse gas emissions; as an enabler to change in terms of the opportunities it can provide for energy efficiency on a wide scale.
Greening ICT across the lifecycle – from manufacture and design through to disposal – enables new and more efficient ways of working within organisations and could lead to significant savings in energy usage and therefore costs, a business imperative.
In March 2011, the Government recognised the importance of these measures by introducing its own Greening Government ICT Strategy encompassing a wide vision of what could be achieved through a fully exploited ‘cost effective and energy efficient ICT estate.’ Key players such as Google and Microsoft are making strong statements about the importance of renewables and, as the recent purchase of a wind farm by Microsoft underlines, directly investing in technologies that will make their operations sustainable and energy efficient for the long-term.
But challenges remain. The cost of cooling ICT equipment is very high (the HE sector alone spends £147 million a year on energy to support its ICT) especially in centres not purpose built to tackle this issue – decisions on whether to outsource to the cloud or engage with new technology have to be financially-based. The threat of energy shortages is a very real one in these environments but questions remain over how many businesses are really tapping into the sector’s innovation potential.
Debating the future direction for ICT & its role in energy efficiency will be an expert panel:
Matt McNeill, Head of Strategic Customer Engagements, EMEA, Google Cloud Platform, Google
Dr Michael Rudgyard, Founder & CTO, Concurrent Thinking
Gil Levy, Partner, Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL)
Benjamin Kott, CEO, EnergyDeck
Moderated by: Peter Judge, Global Editor, DCD Focus
Topics to be discussed include:
- What is the potential for increased energy efficiency within ICT in the UK? Will the future be based in the cloud rather than in-house?
- Is data-centre management enough to tackle carbon emission issues or is the real problem in the production chain? How key are Life Cycle Assessments?
- Is the business case for energy efficiency robust and widely followed? Where will leadership come from?
- What are the technologies that will make energy efficiency through ICT an economic no-brainer?
- What is the role of energy management systems and demand response?
- Where will the funding come from – is innovation in energy efficiency through ICT an attractive area for investors?