8 Ways Geeks Contribute to Sustainability
Could internet geeks be the new heros for sustainability? If you rank this based on new evidence that increased dependence on online activities can impact carbon emissions, then yes.
A study just published by GeSI, titled Measuring the Energy Reduction Impact of Selected Broadband-Enabled Activities Within Households highlights not just the challenge entailed in addressing climate change, but also the opportunities. The GeSI stands for Global e-Sustainability Initiative that is a strategic partnership of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and organizations committed to creating and promoting technologies and practices that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability.
With the support of BT, Ericsson, Verizon, Deutsch Telecom the GeSI study was implemented and assessed the link between broadband usage and net energy reduction. The findings supported that by making the world’s energy infrastructure more efficient via the combined benefits of smart grids, transportation, buildings and the increased adoption of travel substitution, the result could be a global reduction of carbon emissions by 15 percent.
To make this a reality, the following eight online activities would need greater adoption, as measured by the study:
- Online banking
- Music and video downloading
- E-mail use
- Use of the Internet as a primary news source
- Online shopping
- Online education
- Use of digital photography
On the micro-level, this success would be dependent on the increased adoption of these eight online activities at the residential level. To quantify this, the report showed how we contribute to reduced energy consumption and resulting carbon emissions at a net rate of around 2 percent of total national levels in the U.S., Germany, Spain, Italy, the U.K. and France. This reduction would be the equivalent to removing 55 million vehicles off the roads.
Verizon alone has over 130M customer connections ranging from wire, wireless, broadband and video and is focused on minimizing environmental impact of operations and supply chain. Based on these eight consumer activities, the study evidenced the role of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in addressing climate change and ultimately facilitating efficient and low carbon development.
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