IT can be green and profitable, Ovum claims

By kayleigh bateman on Sep 1, 2009 8:50 AM
Filed under Software

Analyst explores three ways in which ICT use can help reduce carbon footprint and keep the money rolling in

Market watcher Ovum has highlighted three critical roles for ICT in combating climate change and the untapped business opportunities that surround them.

In Ovum’s Straight Talk Monthly newsletter, the market researcher’s senior analyst Warren Wilson claimed potential business opportunities lie in three main areas: making computing and networking more energy efficient; substituting low-carbon technologies for traditional, high-carbon functions; and using ICT to monitor, measure and minimise the impact of manufacturing operations that account for vast amount of carbon emissions.

Wilson said: “The role most often discussed is how to make computing and networking themselves more energy efficient. But to focus only on this direct energy consumption is to ignore larger opportunities elsewhere.”

ICT’s second important role – substituting low-carbon technologies for traditional, high-carbon functions – can be achieved for example through virtual meetings instead of corporate air travel, Ovum suggested.

But the greatest untapped business opportunity is using ICT to lessen the impact of manufacturing operations.

“ICT [can be used] to monitor, measure, analyse and minimise the impact of manufacturing, buildings, vehicle fleets and other operations that account for the vast majority of energy consumption and carbon emissions,” he added.

Wilson also addressed the scepticism directed towards vendors over some of their environmental claims. However, he stressed that while some of these claims amount to "greenwashing", it is not the case for all vendors. According to Wilson, this has observed the importance of certain technologies, which can help solve climate change issues even if they were not designed specially for that purpose.

Wilson added: “It is important to take a broad view of both the problem and the potential solutions. Technologies developed to improve business operations or even software development can pay dividends in carbon reduction, and these gains are no less real than if motivated solely by environmental concerns.”

 
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