IT-enabled solutions

Page - April 27, 2010
The implementation of ICT solutions in five sectors - buildings, transport, manufacturing, power, and 'dematerialization' of services - has the potential to cut 7.8 metric GtCO2 by 2020 - 15 percent of today's emissions. (McKinsey Quarterly Report, Oct. 2008)

The implementation of ICT solutions in five sectors - buildings, transport, manufacturing, power, and 'dematerialization' of services - has the potential to cut 7.8 metric GtCO2 by 2020 - 15 percent of today's emissions.

McKinsey Quarterly Report, Oct. 2008

IT has had a major impact on the way society communicates and produces goods and services. The sector must now rise to the opportunity and challenge of helping to solve the climate crisis by focusing new innovation on IT technologies such as smart grids, zero emissions buildings, and more efficient transport systems. These IT-enabled solutions are central to a clean energy economy.

IT technologies make it possible to measure energy use and emissions in real time, which will ultimately allow energy consumers to better manage and reduce their usage. State-of-the-art IT solutions can make societies more efficient and maximize energy savings across sectors. Energy savings also spur significant cost savings, thus IT solutions are a win-win for the climate and the economy. In economic terms, IT-enabled energy efficiency translates into approximately US$646.5 billion (Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age, 2008) of cost savings.

Half of all points (50/100) that companies can earn on the Cool IT Leaderboard are based on the transparent demonstration of existing solutions offerings and the precision with which companies measure the actual net greenhouse gas emissions reductions of those solutions. Additionally, points are earned by companies that set economy-wide emissions reduction targets for their solutions.

Climate Solutions criteria represent 50 out of 100 points, divided as follows:

  • 25 points: Company makes public the calculations of current net GHG emissions savings provided by IT solution(s) to other parts of the economy via case study data.
  • 15 points: Company makes public the explanation of metrics and assumptions used to calculate the net GHG emissions savings of their solutions.
  • 10 points: Company sets ambitious short-term targets for growth of their net GHG emissions savings from IT solutions.

Note: points listed above represent the maximum number of points for given criteria.

In this third version of the Leaderboard, scoring results signified improvements to the development and quantification of the energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions potential of IT solutions. Cisco and Ericsson stand out for their reporting of methodologies used to determine the impacts of their technologies. IBM and Fujitsu also score well on these criteria, although their performance shows little improvement over the previous Leaderboard evaluation.

Stronger quantification of solutions by IT companies can drive efficiency standards and send policy signals needed to push investments that further deploy IT solution technologies under complimentary market conditions.

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