IDC's Sustainability Index sees significant opportunity for Asia/Pacific nations to reduce greenhouse gases using ICT
Date: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 16:19 Source: IDC press department
According to IDC's G20 ICT Sustainability Index released last week in parallel with the United Nations COP15 meetings in Copenhagen, 5.8 billion tons (Gigatons) of CO2 emissions can be eliminated through the focused use of ICT-based solutions by 2020
It is estimated that the six countries from the Asia/Pacific region that were included in the study, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Korea, can contribute in the reduction of 2.4 billion tons (or 41.4%) within this target.
IDC ranked Japan as the only top-tier country in the Index with the score of 16, meaning of the G20 nations, Japan has the most potential of reducing greenhouse gases. Australia, China and Korea were ranked in the fourth-tier of the Index, while India and Indonesia were ranked in the fifth-tier.
"It is clear that Asia/Pacific as a region has a prominent role to play in dealing with climate change as a global issue," said Philip Carter, Associate Research Director for IDC's Asia/Pacific Practice and Green IT & Sustainability Research. "IDC's ICT Sustainability Index provides a perspective on how ICT can be used to actively reduce greenhouse gases at a country level. We are hopeful that governments in the region start to identify technology areas highlighted in the study and provide incentives for companies and consumers to start using them more specifically with this objective in mind. We also anticipate that more progressive policy makers will go a step further and begin to mandate the usage of some of these technologies and associated solutions in certain industries."
In developing this landmark research, IDC identified seventeen core technologies in four major economic sectors: energy generation & distribution, transport, buildings, and industry. The criterion for selecting ICT solutions were simple and clear. "The core technologies had to pass three tests: they had to be mature enough to provide real benefits within three years, support significant processing on a network, and be discrete independent technologies," said Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer and Telecom Research.
In the Asia/Pacific region, the importance of specific sectors and technologies varies significantly by country. Transport-related sources constitute the largest share of CO2e reduction potential in Japan (30%) and supply chain and logistics optimization is the specific technology area expected to have the greatest impact in meeting the target for this sector. By contrast, in China, the energy generation and distribution sector is where most opportunity lies to reduce CO2 emissions, and renewable energy management systems utilizing the smart grid is expected to drive most of the savings within this sector.
In a separate study to determine how businesses and enterprises in the region are reacting to the increasing focus on green IT and sustainability, IDC conducted its 3rd annual Green IT and Sustainability Survey that included 450 organizations in Asia/Pacific. According to the survey findings, the cost of energy is still the key driver for organizations, with over 60% in the region indicated this to be the case. Growth in IT Infrastructure was also indicated as a factor that is rising fast on the agenda, particularly In China.
Further local differences become clearer between countries within the Asia/Pacific 'jigsaw puzzle', particularly when comparing emerging countries such as China against the more developed ones like Australia and Japan. In Australia and Japan, senior executives (including the CEO, CIO and CTO) are taking the leading role in these initiatives. By comparison in the China, this responsibility is being pushed to IT Management.
The survey also identified three green IT and sustainability areas that respondents hope to initiate within the next 12 months, namely:
• 63% of Australian respondents, 62% of Chinese respondents and 45% of Japanese respondents intend to change customer behavior from print to online.
• 47% of Japanese respondents plan to initiate techniques for better managing systems or data such as server management duplication.
• 45% of Chinese respondents aim to implement a "Thin Client" or "Client Device" strategy.
Each of these project areas address business functions that consume a lot of energy. Success involves moving customers (both internal and external) from energy intensive practices to more efficient ways of conducting business. IDC believes that these should be on all green IT & sustainability project lists.