GeSI SMARTer2020: The Role of ICT in Driving a Sustainable Future

GeSI's SMARTer2020 report demonstrates how the increased use of information and communication technology (ICT) such as video conferencing and smart building management could cut the projected 2020 global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 16.5%, amounting to $1.9 trillion in gross energy and fuel savings and a reduction of 9.1 Gigatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) of greenhouse gases. This is equivalent to more than seven times the ICT sector’s emissions in the same period.

This new research study identifies 16% more savings than was calculated in an earlier study conducted four years ago. The SMARTer2020 report evaluates GHG abatement potential from ICT-enabled solutions ranging across six sectors of the economy: power, transportation, manufacturing, consumer and service, agriculture, and buildings. Emission reductions come from virtualisation initiatives such as cloud computing and video conferencing, and also, through efficiency gains such as optimisation of variable-speed motors in manufacturing, smart livestock management to reduce methane emissions, and 32 other ICT-enabled solutions identified in the study.

The challenge facing many ICT-enabled abatement solutions is the lack of robust policies to address climate change. The report calls for concerted action by global policy makers to encourage the implementation of ICT abatement solutions. The SMARTer2020 report includes detailed national studies of the GHG abatement potential of ICT in seven countries, identifying how ICT is a critical tool in facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy and providing specific guidance to policy makers on actions they can take to realize the significant GHG reduction potential outlined in the report. The countries studied were Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Download report
Download executive summary
Download country deep dives
Download report section on ICT and abatement calculations
Download PPT
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GeSI members blog about the SMARTer2020 report

Nokia: Nokia helps identify the role of ICT in decreasing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Alcatel-Lucent: GeSI report highlights ICT role in protecting the environment
Ericsson: Combating the threat of climate change with ICT
Deutsche Telekom: SMARTer 2020
HP: HP Sponsors Study of ICT’s Role in Reducing Emissions
Microsoft: New SMARTer2020 Report: ICT Can Reduce Global Carbon Emissions by 16.5%
Verizon: Can ICT Solutions Sustainably Grow the World’s Economies?

“It is critical that the world captures every last bit of energy efficiency, if we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep below dangerous rises in temperature. I am pleased that this important new study shows how information and communication technology can play an essential role in saving energy. Now we need more and effective government policies that reward such action and penalize delayed responses.”
- Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary UNFCCC

“The ICT revolution is powering even more innovations than we had imagined, leading to greater potential to cut GHG emissions, and a smaller ICT footprint. SMARTer2020 shows the abatement potential of ICT is seven times the size of the ICT sector’s direct emissions. Information technology can drive the transition to a low carbon economy, with greater efficiency, and the preservation of our environment.”
- Luis Neves, GeSI Chairman