The ICT industry makes aviation seem ok

I’m currently one week from submitting my thesis, hence the radio silence.

However, one of the most important facts I have learnt is that

the global CO2 output from the ICT industry is equal to that from the aviation industry (Green Server Design)

With cloud computing driving a shift in the technology market, more consumers will move towards consuming more software and ‘cloud data’. On the one hand, this is great news for sustainability as it dematerialises consumption, as the product transforms into a service. On the other, requires developing and building more data centres, that are currently run on mainly on fossil fuels and have hefty environmental impacts. These are set to be compounded by the spreading of technology as the global middle class swells.

Discussing sustainability in technology is a complex issue, as the above conundrum demonstrates. A practical way to assess solution, is by thinking systemically: a shift to cloud computing would complement and benefit from a shift towards renewable energy, and replacing the subsidies for fossil fuels with taxes.