environmental sustainability has been a long-term priority for AIIA and the
Australian ICT industry. The ICT industry takes management of its own carbon
emissions very seriously and it is an area in which we aim to lead by example.
Regardless of the actual mechanisms we use to achieve any
transition to a low carbon economy, there is no doubt that the ICT industry has
a leading role to play in Australia's environmental future. In some other countries around the world we see
acknowledgment of this fact through mechanisms such as the establishment of
GreenIT Advisory Offices and integrating sustainable ICT into economic stimulus
This shows that global leaders are realising the importance of ICT in
driving economic growth while reducing emissions, cutting waste and controlling
the spiralling costs of spending on energy.
Direct environmental impact of technology
ICT powers an ‘always on’ world. And while the benefits of technology are
far-reaching, the amount of energy required to keep our technological devices
functioning increases each year. Similarly, lower production costs and rapid technological advances mean that
consumers and businesses upgrade products more frequently, creating new
The direct impact of information and communications technology on the
environment for Australia was recently measured by the
Australian Computer Society in May 2010. ACS calculated that ICT is responsible
for 2.7 percent of Australia’s carbon footprint and more than 7 percent of
Australia’s electricity consumption. Environmental sustainability is no longer a choice for ICT companies, but
a business imperative. AIIA is working with its members to minimise the
industry’s collective environmental footprint.
Indirect contribution of technology to sustainability
In addition to examining and taking measure to reduce our own industry footprint, companies in the ICT Industry are also championing the transformational role of ICT in a low-carbon economy by looking at ways to assist other industries to meet the challenge of lowering their overall environmental footprint.
There is a significant opportunity to implement new technologies that help reduce the other 97 percent greenhouse gas emissions across the economy – through activities such as optimising fleet management, more intelligent utility grids, electronic bills and payments, video-conferencing and improved building management systems.