Connect, Collaborate, Change


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Connect, Collaborate, Change

  1. 1. Connect, Collaborate,ChangeOpportunities for Information and Communication Technology(ICT) to support a new movement for a sustainable societyA discussion paper by Forum for the Future
  2. 2. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE This report is part of O2’s series of sustainability discussions. Our business ambition is to grow, but not at any cost. We have an equal responsibility to use our technology and scale to do more for society and the planet. And we are keen to discuss the benefits of technology wherever we can. O2 commissioned Forum for the Future to review and refresh the current thinking on information and communication technology (ICT) as an enabler of sustainability and also highlight the areas of opportunity. Our intention is to explore the themes raised in this report with industry peers, customers, suppliers, employees, NGOs, interest groups, government and other bodies. We value your views and ideas. Please send comments to: O2 is a leading communications company for consumers and Forum for the Future is a non-profit organisation working businesses in the UK, with over 22 million mobile customers and globally with business and government to create a sustainable over 700,000 fixed broadband customers, as at 30 June 2011. future. It aims to transform the critical systems that we all depend on, such as food, energy and finance, to make them fit for the Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc, a business challenges of the 21st century. Forum has 15 years’ experience division of Telefónica S.A. which uses O2 as its commercial brand inspiring new thinking, building creative partnerships and in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic, developing practical innovations to change our world. and has 57.3 million customers across these markets. The authors are James Taplin, Hugh Knowles and Sejal Mahida Think Big is O2’s sustainability programme. It is designed to at Forum for the Future. stimulate social and environmental change in partnership with Forum for the Future is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee, employees, customers and other stakeholders. registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Overseas House, 19-23 Ironmonger Row, London, EC1V 3QN, UK. Registered charity no. 1040519. Company no. 2959712. VAT registration no. 677 7475 70. www.forumforthefuture.org2
  3. 3. CONTENTSINTRODUCTION 5The challenge 5Opportunity and risk 6THE CARBON CONTEXT 7REVIEWING THE RESEARCH 8a) By type of impact 8b) By area of impact 9c) By sector of impact 9GETTING BACK TO BASICS: 11A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKDirect impacts 12Indirect impacts 12Systemic effects 13APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK 14NEW OPPORTUNITIES 15MAKING THE CASE FOR 16SYSTEMIC CHANGERedefining ownership 16Rethinking finance 17The data revolution and 19radical transparencyCONCLUSIONS 21APPENDIX 22 3
  4. 4. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Our lifestyles today are ultimately unsustainable. Only through a radical shift in how people’s needs are met across the planet can we hope to confront the great challenges of our time such as: climate change; poverty; population growth; and food and energy security. Opportunities for information and communication technology (ICT) to promote intrinsic change are many and diverse, but we need to know how and where to look for them. Research thinking to date naturally tends to look at how ICT can help people do existing things more efficiently, especially in large organisations and institutions. As a result, in our view, insufficient focus has been placed on the power of ICT to: • enable individuals to do things completely differently; • harness the ingenuity of the connected millions to create change together; • encourage systemic shifts in the way society operates. ICT could be one of the most powerful enablers of transformation we possess, and companies like O2 have potential to support just the kind of disruptive change needed. They can do this by: • providing people with the platforms to connect; • taking good ideas to a scale that fundamentally alters the way we live.4
  5. 5. INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION THE CARBON CONTEXTTECHNOLOGY has always been a key driver of change. Today’s use of ICT, inparticular, is causing profound shifts in the way we interact, both with eachother, and with the everyday systems that underpin our lives. These includethe mechanisms we use to generate and consume energy, to produce ourfood, to enable us to travel, or to provide us with homes. They are the REVIEWING THE RESEARCHbuilding blocks of society.Nowhere has this shift been more keenly felt than in the ubiquitous use of mobile. The roll-outof mobile networks in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, has had a transformative impact on localdevelopment, and on the ability of people to improve conditions for themselves. Here in the UK,our ability to be informed in real-time about the world around us – and to pass on comment in GETTING BACK TO BASICS:turn – is revolutionising the way we eat, shop, travel and receive services such as healthcare A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKand banking.THE CHALLENGESustainability is the challenge of the 21st century. It’s about living in a way that achieves our goalsand aspirations without affecting the ability of others to meet theirs – now and in the future. APPLYING THE FRAMEWORKThere’s now little doubt that our western consumer lifestyles are threatening the future. Thecombination of climate change, food and energy security and population growth require a radicalshift in how we meet the needs of all across the planet.For example, to stand a good chance of avoiding 2 degrees of warming and the resulting climatechange, we must dramatically reduce our global carbon emissions. This means that reduction ratesof approximately 9% per year are needed by as soon as 2015.1 NEW OPPORTUNITIESTo meet these challenges we must find radical solutions – and fast.ICT is already demonstrating that, with more information and connectivity, people can start todo things differently. And in doing so, it has the power to generate and rapidly spread new ideasthat can positively disrupt the status quo. For example, a recent report by Gartner Group estimatesthat the peer-to-peer financial-lending market will reach $5 billion by 2013.2 Rachel Botsman hasestimated that the consumer peer-to-peer rental market will become a $26 billion sector.3 Both of MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGEthese trends have been driven by developments in ICT. CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX1 Tyndall Centre: What’s Mine is Yours: The rise of collaborative consumption 5
  6. 6. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE OPPORTUNITY AND RISK There are big opportunities to use ICT to create radical new approaches, but the sector is still developing fast. So, as with all new frontiers, it’s important to be clear about both the potential and the risks. Technology is not inherently sustainable after all, and its deployment can incur significant costs in terms of resources, power and social inequality. It can also create unintended knock-on effects. However, since this report was primarily commissioned to look into the opportunities that ICT presents, we will not be discussing the threats in any detail. Many of the direct impacts such as e-waste, device accumulation or the rebound effect still require considerable action to address them, but these are well documented elsewhere. Of greater concern may be the relatively new or emerging issues that are currently less well documented and which need urgent attention from the ICT industry. Some of these risks such as net neutrality, over consumption online, privacy, exclusion and access to ICT as a human right, could cause systemic change and we welcome further discussion on these topics. A number of authoritative reports have started to look at the benefits of ICT for sustainability, as well as the scale of the potential savings that could be made. We have used some of these as the foundation for our framework and to provide an overview of current opinion. We have then applied our own thinking in the areas of systems innovation,4 future trends and weak signals5 to highlight additional impacts and opportunities. We hope to establish that ICT can promote real systemic change. Rather than only looking at how technology can improve transport systems, for example, we want to explore how it can change the way we live and work, so that transport needs are vastly reduced or removed altogether. Thanks to the excellent work that has gone before, we are by no means starting from scratch. The potential for change is discussed in earlier research.6 We aim to build on that, by focusing on new and emerging trends that can inspire change on a scale that’s commensurate with the challenges we face. 4 5 Refers to new behaviours or emerging technologies that are yet to become mainstream 6 For example, SMART 2020 – published by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative and The Climate Group in 2008: see ‘Transform’ section at:6
  7. 7. INTRODUCTIONTHE CARBON CONTEXT THE CARBON CONTEXTOne of ICT’s most frequently cited sustainability benefits is the role it canplay in cutting the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.Switching a physical activity for a digital one offers great scope for removing the need forcarbon-intensive travel, for example. And ICT’s ability to process complex data to help humans,or machines, make intelligent decisions can further increase efficiency. REVIEWING THE RESEARCHBut ICT itself is not without negative sustainability impacts. Its use of energy in particular is asource of concern and questions remain about whether savings across society might be negatedby the carbon cost of ICT’s manufacture and delivery.There is no definitive answer yet. ICT operators have generally been poor at clearly demonstratingtheir full carbon budgets and few, if any, can yet demonstrate that an x% rise in the carbon they GETTING BACK TO BASICS:emit results in a y% fall in emissions across society. A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKVarious reports try to predict ICT’s future carbon balance. Among the most comprehensive isSmart 2020, published by The Climate Group for the Global e-Sustainability Initiative in 2008.This calculates that although ICT emissions will grow to 1.43 GtCO2e7 by 2020, the growth will beoffset by society-wide reductions of five times greater (7.8 GtCO2e).Not everyone agrees with these figures, and some have voiced concerns that the ICT sector is APPLYING THE FRAMEWORKdeveloping without due regard to its own energy efficiency, thus threatening to become partof the problem. They argue that the actual future carbon savings will be significantly smaller.Nevertheless, Smart 2020 is often still considered to be a solid benchmark on this subject, and ismost regularly quoted by the industry itself. In reality, however, any haggling over relative projectedsavings is probably futile, given the uncertainties about the future and the assumptions we needto make to overcome them. In particular, we hope that the application of ICT in entirely new andunpredictable ways means that future opportunities will far exceed anything that can be estimated NEW OPPORTUNITIESand extrapolated from where we are now.So, while the Smart 2020 findings are as solid and robust as any, future carbon savings willdepend on things that we can easily predict, like the intelligent design and application ofequipment, and on factors we can’t, like the sheer speed and direction of technology change.Add to that the human element – how people are likely to behave in future – and forecastingbecomes more difficult still. MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGENot surprisingly then, the standard research paradigm frequently remains how ICT can makeexisting operations more efficient. In order to provide credible numbers, most reports rightly focuson the areas of society where predictions are increasingly certain. They look at the potential carbonsavings predominantly from ‘top-down’ business and policy interventions, or machine-to-machineexchanges. And whilst this approach undoubtedly focuses on areas where big carbon savings needto be made, the role of peer-to-peer human interaction in shaping the future is far less clear. CONCLUSIONSMost studies therefore omit one of the most unpredictable but potentially disruptive trends we see– the huge opportunities for change that come when exponential numbers of people use ICT to dothings entirely differently, thus causing systemic shifts in how we meet human needs. APPENDIX7 Gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents: a measure of the total climate change impact of an operation which takes into account all global warming impacts from all emissions and converts them into a standard Carbon Dioxide measure. 7
  8. 8. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE REVIEWING THE RESEARCH There are almost as many ways to classify the opportunities for ICT as there are reports on the subject. This makes it understandably difficult for an organisation to clearly identify how and where ICT can be applied for maximum sustainability gain. Most recent reports agree on the broad areas where ICT interventions could do the most good, but there is no overall consistency within their findings on which to base decision-making: hardly surprising, given the complexity of the sector, the almost limitless possibilities and the speed at which ICT is evolving. Consequently, reports tend to classify ICT and its sustainability potential on a more manageable subset of indicators, generally using one or more of the following: a) type of impact (direct or indirect) b) area of impact (carbon, for example) c) systems impacts (change that can be achieved within, say, buildings and transport systems, or through the smart grid and dematerialisation8) a) BY TYPE OF IMPACT Some of the earliest reports use a three-pronged framework to describe, in varying terminologies, the type of impact ICT has on society. Broadly, they are: • Direct impacts – also known as ‘Making IT’, ‘first order’ or ‘primary effects’. These are the social and environmental effects that ICT devices and services create during their lifecycle – including the materials and energy used in production, the impact of use, disposal, and so on. • Indirect impacts – also known as ‘Using IT’, ‘second order’ or ‘secondary effects’. These are the effects of applying ICT to other processes (such as to the production of goods or to transport systems, for example). • Systemic impacts – also known as ‘Applying IT’, ‘third order’ or ‘tertiary effects’. These refer to the longer-term adaptation of economic structures and consumer behaviour, made possible by ICT and its services. The advantage of this modus operandi is that it covers all technology and can be applied to all areas of sustainability opportunity (rather than just carbon, for instance). It also gives an indication of the relative ease of implementation and the magnitude of impact within each type of ICT activity. In general terms, it gets harder to instigate initiatives when moving from Direct to Indirect impacts, and onto Systemic actions, but the sustainable impact gained increases dramatically as you do so. But the methodology has limitations too. The possibilities for ICT interventions in society are so vast that researchers find it useful to divide them into manageable chunks. As a result, most analyses tend to focus only on one impact (usually carbon, or similar), and on some discrete areas of impact (for example transport, work and energy).8 8 The move from a physical activity to an electronic alternative
  9. 9. INTRODUCTIONB) BY AREA OF IMPACT C) BY SYSTEMS IMPACTSThe ICT sector is responsible for 2%-3% of global carbon emissions: its direct impact. THE CARBON CONTEXTFocusing attention here is vital, because operators have the power to manage theirabsolute impact down.Clearly, though, there are much bigger potential gains to be made if ICT can be used tosignificantly reduce the remaining 97%-98%, via the indirect and systemic impact it canhave on society. REVIEWING THE RESEARCHIt’s on this area – the role of ICT to change the global carbon budget by reducing moreemissions than it produces – that most reports concentrate.Where studies diverge, however, is in how they try to classify the opportunities. Table 1(below) looks at seven recent studies, drawn from the ICT business, NGOs and analysts.Table 1: Classification of ICT sustainability opportunities in a number of recent GETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKrepresentative reports Broad categories of impact area Dematerialisation Cradle to cradle / Remote sensing / Smart buildings Smart logistics Smart motors management Efficient ICT Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK (travel) waste Report Saving the climate at the speed of light9 X X X Smart 202010 X X X X X X Impacts of ICTs on Energy Efficiency11 X X X X X NEW OPPORTUNITIES Carbon Connections12 X X X X X Reducing GHGs through intense use of ICT13 X X X X X X Using ICTs to tackle Climate Change14 X X X X X X X MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE Make IT Green15 X X X X XOur table shows that none of the findings precisely match, so extrapolating a set ofguiding principles to help shape future action is somewhat challenging.16 CONCLUSIONS9 WWF & ETNO, (2005). Saving the Climate @ the speed of light – First roadmap for reduced CO2 emissions in the EU and beyond ( (http://wwf. )10 The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (2008) Smart2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age ( )11 bio Intelligence Service (2008) Impacts of Information and Communication Technologies on Energy Efficiency – final report to the European Commission DG INFSO ( ( )12 Vodafone & Accenture (2009) Carbon Connections: Quantifying mobile’s role in tackling climate change ( ( vodafone/about/sustainability/2011/pdf/carbon_connections.pdf) )13 IDC (2009) Reducing Greenhouse. IDC (2009) Reducing Greenhouse Gases Through Intense Use of Information and Communication Technology ( )14 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & Global eSustainability Initiative (2010) Using ICTs to Tackle Climate Change ( ( APPENDIX pub/itu-t/oth/4B/01/T4B010000010001PDFE.pdf) )15 Greenpeace International (2010) Make IT Green: Cloud computing and its contribution to climate change ( ( en/publications/reports/make-it-green-cloud-computing/) )16 It should be noted, however, that the classifications of opportunity are our own, based on the areas of impact that each report identifies. It would be possible for other commentators to reclassify them, but the findings would be the same: there is still insufficient commonality between them to guide action. 9
  10. 10. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE One commonly identified opportunity is dematerialisation, found in all of the reports in Table 1. But even here, different prospects are identified by different reports (Table 2). Table 2: Elements of dematerialisation opportunities in a number of recent representative reports Broad categories of impact area within dematerialisation Videoconferencing/ e-billing / paperless (incl. digital goods) Route planning / (incl. e-taxation) e-Government Mobile work / management virtualisation virtual office telepresence e-commerce e-Education Hardware e-Health goods office Report Saving the climate at the speed of light X X X X X X X Smart 2020 X X X X X X Impacts of ICTs on Energy Efficiency X X X X Carbon Connections X X X X Reducing GHGs through intense use of ICT X X X Using ICTs to tackle Climate Change X X X Make IT Green X X X X X X The table also reveals that – for simplicity – reports tend to include a mix of technologies (videoconference, hardware virtualisation); many types of implementation (e-billing, mobile office, e-commerce, route planning); and several types of sector (e-Government, e-Health, e-Education). The difficulty for those who want to use ICT for sustainability is the lack of a common approach. What is needed, we believe, is a simple framework that enables us to more clearly identify future opportunities and risks, and more readily pinpoint where action is likely to lead to most gain.10
  11. 11. INTRODUCTIONGETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORK THE CARBON CONTEXTTo better spot opportunities for ICT, we need to return to basics. In doingso, it becomes easier to establish where ICT can achieve the biggestsustainability gains by enabling entire system change (in energy and finance,for example). REVIEWING THE RESEARCHOur framework in diagram 1 (below) attempts this. It charts the essential functions of ICTequipment and maps the basic uses and applications they support.Diagram 1DIRECTMaking – IT ICT Equipment1st Order GETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKPrimaryINDIRECTUsing – IT Information & Analysis Communicate2nd OrderSecondary APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK Data as Optimise Simplify Educate Connect Collaborate product Predict Automate NEW OPPORTUNITIESSYSTEMICApplying – IT Integrated Systems and New Cultural Norms3rd OrderTertiary MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX8 ICT may have a role to play in the three remaining fundamental needs – freedom, subsistence and protection – but less clearly than for the other six. 11
  12. 12. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE DIRECT IMPACTS ICT equipment has a direct impact on wider society, stretching from the supply chain to end-of- life. Impacts include raw materials (sourcing, toxicity, supply chain management); energy (in manufacturing, logistics and device use); and disposal (recycling and e-waste). INDIRECT IMPACTS ICT is, of course, the acronym for Information and Communication Technology. The ‘Technology’ part comes under direct impacts. The ‘Information and Communication’ part forms the two main uses of ICT (see diagram 1). These are responsible for the indirect impact that ICT has on society and, in order to distinguish between them, we’ve termed them a) ‘Information and Analysis’, and b) ‘Communicate’. a) Information and analysis This is the area of ICT that has data at its heart. On the one hand, data can be a product in its own right – a digital substitute for physical goods, such as music or photographs. On the other, it can be used for computational analysis, predominantly by machines, and is the branch of ICT where machine-to-machine (M2M) activities take place. When humans do get involved they are presented with data on which to act, such as when drivers are presented with real-time traffic information so as to avoid congestion and make better routing decisions. Information and analysis is used for two inter-related purposes: a) to simplify complex data and b) to optimise decision-making by assessing a range of variables in order to predict the best or most efficient next course of action. The financial industry has been using these ICT skills to trade more rapidly for decades, and businesses increasingly employ optimising software to look for efficiencies. b) Communicate This category refers to person-to-person (P2P) communication. We’ve split it into three main areas: education; connection; and collaboration. Education is essentially the one-way flow of communication. It includes the sharing of information from many sources to a single recipient (such as an individual gaining expert knowledge from the internet), or from one source to many recipients (such as e-learning, when a teacher informs a number of pupils over a wide geography). Collaboration involves the two-way flow of information and ideas. It is supported by technology, such as video-conferencing, and can be used to find innovative new ways of doing things, to share goods and services, and to bring people together around a common cause. Connect recognises that – aside from aspiring to be educated or involved with others collaboratively – people always need to keep in touch. A whole raft of human needs is satisfied by making simple connections. Chilean economist Manfred Max Neef identified nine fundamental human needs, some of which – like understanding, creation and participation – are met by education and/or collaboration tools. Others – such as identify, leisure and affection – fall within our Connect17 category. 17 ICT also has a role to play in the three remaining fundamental needs – freedom, subsistence and protection – but less clearly than for the12 other six.
  13. 13. INTRODUCTIONSYSTEMIC EFFECTSSystemic change can occur when technologies are taken to such a scale they transform THE CARBON CONTEXTsocial systems. Bearing this in mind, it may seem a little misleading that our frameworkclearly separates systemic effects from indirect impacts, when the two can in reality beviewed as a continuum. We have opted to make this distinction because not all indirectimpacts can scale-up to create systemic change. Conversely, systemic change can alsooccur when a technology facilitates a change that was not its primary purpose.18 REVIEWING THE RESEARCHWe’ve chosen two main types of systemic change: ‘integrated systems’ and ‘newcultural norms’.Integrated systems emerge when ICT is applied to one or more sectors of society tooptimise and/or simplify a process. One example is the smart grid of the future, which willuse dynamic technology to predict the actions of users connected to it through transportand infrastructure systems to deliver more reliable, economic and sustainable electricity. GETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKNew cultural norms occur when a technology or idea has reached such a saturation pointthat it fundamentally shifts the way people behave. One example is the music industry,which has been radically transformed by the consumption and sharing of digital media.Another is the emergence of collaborative consumption in which the benefits of ‘stuff’(cars, handbags, drills and so on) are available to the many, without having to be ownedoutright by individuals. APPLYING THE FRAMEWORKDiagram 2 shows the difference between indirect and systemic impacts on our health andtransport systems. It also flags up the enabling potential of technology applications.Diagram 2 Indirect/2nd Order Systemic/3rd Order (INCREMENTAL) (BEHAVIOUR CHANGE) NEW OPPORTUNITIES Preventative measure HEALTH Sharing of data in hospitals e.g. exercise and fitness Better logistics/more Enabling car sharing or TRANSPORT efficient engines rural work hubs MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX18 Mobile banking is a good example. See the case study to follow. 13
  14. 14. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK We hope our framework serves as a tool for action as well as a stimulus for fresh thinking about where interventions can successfully be made. At a macro level, it can be used to look for interventions that can be made in a specific sector – by identifying blockages to more sustainable transport, for example. In this way, it can help to answer questions like: what simplified information do people need to make better transport choices; which public services need to make these choices more attractive; and how can ICT deliver this in the right way and at the right time? Equally, since a lot of transport is undertaken not for the journey’s sake, but to connect, collaborate or educate, how can ICT better fulfil these needs? Maybe you know the answers to these questions already, but what about if you apply similar questions to the finance sector, or food, or construction? Alternatively, at a micro level, an ICT business, device or technology could be placed in the ‘Direct ICT Equipment’ position at the top of our framework to help people assess their operations and total impacts. Are they pursuing all potential sustainability avenues, or are there additional directions that they could take? How and where could they filter the sustainability benefits of their business down to the indirect levels? Finally, it may also be possible to start at the bottom by identifying a powerful systemic change and work upwards through the framework to understand what ICT interventions and equipment is needed to deliver it.14
  15. 15. INTRODUCTIONNEW OPPORTUNITIES THE CARBON CONTEXTDiagram 3: mapping other analyses into our frameworkDIRECTMaking – IT ICT Equipment1st OrderPrimary REVIEWING THE RESEARCH Efficient ICT e-Waste Cradle to Cradle Equipment Management Information & Analysis Communicate GETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKINDIRECT Data asUsing – IT Optimise Simplify Educate Connect Collaborate product2nd OrderSecondary Smart Smart Smart Smart Dematerialisation Grid Logistics Cities Buildings APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK Predict Automate Remote Sensing Smart Motors & Monitoring NEW OPPORTUNITIESSYSTEMICApplying – IT Integrated Systems and New Cultural Norms3rd OrderTertiaryDiagram 3 includes (in red) the general areas of current focus for sustainable ICT. As wehave noted, different assessors use different parameters to describe potential MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGEsustainability wins, but our diagram represents their core positions (see Appendix).For instance, most of the ‘Smart’-suite of potential interventions involve optimisingsustainability performance using multiple data sources (e.g. vehicles for smarter logistics,or homes and cars for smarter grids). Some smart solutions involve simplifyinginformation as well, so that humans can more easily interact with systems (such assmart buildings), but many operate without human control. CONCLUSIONSDematerialisation solutions, on the other hand, are often about creating opportunitiesfor people (individuals or institutions) to communicate better, either through peer-to-peer collaboration (virtual meetings), or via education (government-to-people, company-to-client).As discussed earlier, while most sustainability initiatives currently sit within indirect impacts,there is scope for some, or all, to cause systemic change if taken to scale across society. APPENDIX 15
  16. 16. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE We have selected three areas of activity to demonstrate how technology applications can change systems for the better. While our choices – ownership, finance and data – are subjective, they help to highlight some of the most interesting emerging trends. REDEFINING OWNERSHIP It’s no longer necessary for anyone undertaking a DIY project or wanting to do the weekly shop to physically own their own drill or car. Use of technology to keep track of where things are located means that, increasingly, we can find the services we need, establish the cost of rental, and hire them for a period of time at a touch of a button. Collaborative consumption helps people gain the value of using what they require without the need to buy it. It also avoids waste of raw materials and the energy used to manufacture products that would otherwise sit idle for much of their life (for example, legend suggests that the average drill is used for only 12 minutes in its entire lifetime). A widespread shift away from individual ownership has profound implications for the consumption of resources by society. It also presents opportunities for a new, more sustainable relationship between producers and consumers, based on buying a service (such as entertainment) rather than a product (such as a TV). Case studies Barclays Cycle Hire is a public bicycle sharing scheme, which supports around 12,000 sustainable journeys a day in London. It uses ICT to operate, and several mobile phone applications have been developed to inform users about the locations and availability of bikes. It isn’t aimed at making existing transport options more efficient, but at providing an entirely new transport system. Neighborgoods9 is a national online platform that uses geo-location tools to enable people to share a variety of goods, such as garden tools and sewing machines. For more examples of collaborative consumption, visit the-movement/snapshot-of-examples.php16 9
  17. 17. INTRODUCTIONRETHINKING FINANCEThe financial sector’s recent woes can partly be levelled at misuse of ICT. New financial THE CARBON CONTEXTpractices that divest responsibility away from the individual and onto sophisticatedtrading algorithms, or complex derivatives, would not have been possible without theextraordinary number-crunching powers of ICT. But this is not a flaw pertaining to ICTitself: the flaw is in its application.For example, the same rapid calculation capabilities are being used to revolutionise the REVIEWING THE RESEARCHway people access money. New services can now help people across the world, especiallythe disadvantaged, gain finance that had previously been denied to them.Microlending is a prime example. The system allows anyone to lend small amounts ofmoney to others who need it – at beneficial rates to both. With a sophisticated ICTplatform managing the transactions, risks to microlenders are removed and risks to thesystem as a whole are minimised. For example, two of the most established platforms – GETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKKiva and Zopa – have default rates of 1.1% and 0.8% respectively, considerably lowerthan mainstream banking.Microlending still requires the input of a third party to act as intermediary. But ICT canenable people to send money to one other directly. mPesa in Kenya has pioneered atruly systemic revolution in the way people handle money, by allowing individuals totransfer money from one mobile phone to another. The physical journeys involved in APPLYING THE FRAMEWORKtransferring cash to remote parts of the country are removed. And in many areas, mPesaserves as a currency in its own right, eliminating the need to carry cash by facilitatingmoney transfer by mobile at point of purchase. A scheme recently launched through acollaboration between Moneygram and Movistar Remesas similarly allows theinternational transfer of funds that is supported and facilitated by mobile networks.The ability of ICT to bring people together in peer-to-peer systems that better serve their NEW OPPORTUNITIEScollective needs is, therefore, compelling – and it is likely to drive many more systemicchanges, we believe. MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX 17
  18. 18. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE Case studies Kickstarter is an online ‘crowdfunding’ platform that uses a threshold pledge system: only when projects reach their funding target do they receive money. The platform takes 5% of the funds raised. Kickstarter raised US$75 million for over 10,000 projects between April 200920 and late 2011 and several businesses used the scheme for initial funding. Similar crowdfunding schemes have since been established, allowing people to invest small sums at low risk in projects that inspire them, often for no financial return. is similar to Kickstarter, but it focuses on getting sustainable projects off the ground. Its aim is to become the platform for sustainability experiments. Launched in November 2011, it had attracted more than £40K in pledges to great ideas in its first week. Bank Simple21 is a ‘personal banking alternative from a company that respects you’, built from scratch using latest mobile phone technology.22 Irritated by bad design and surprise fees, the founders are working to deliver a new, simpler banking concept that helps people to manage their money, and to save and spend conveniently at less cost. 20 21 banksimple.com18 22
  19. 19. INTRODUCTIONTHE DATA REVOLUTION AND RADICAL TRANSPARENCYThere is huge potential to collect, analyse and communicate data in a way that helps to transform THE CARBON CONTEXTcritical systems, we believe. Our understanding of climate change, for example, has largely beenshaped by ICT’s analysis of complex data on a global scale.More and more people are gaining access to a whole raft of information concerning their everydaylives, as well as the tools to analyse it intelligently. With knowledge comes power, and the result isa proliferation of initiatives that put the power to create change in everyone’s hands – thanks, in REVIEWING THE RESEARCHmany cases, to the mobile web.Linked inextricably to the data revolution is the trend towards radical transparency. Access toreal-time information, coupled with peer-to-peer communication such as referrals and advice,makes it now possible to know anything about everything at any particular time. This has multipleand profound implications.Take, for example, the Arab Spring uprisings. Their speed and success can partly be attributed to GETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKthe use of social networking to stay abreast of complex developments as they emerged. Clearly,ICT has the power to help accelerate radical social change.In everyday life, the use of smartphones, the mobile internet and applications like barcoo giveconsumers greater knowledge – not only about what their community thinks is good or bad abouta particular product or purchase, but also where they can get it cheapest, or what they could buy APPLYING THE FRAMEWORKinstead (see case studies below).The impact on businesses is that it has become increasingly difficult to hide, control informationabout brands, or cover up any (real or imagined) skeletons in the corporate closet. Naturally, thetendency for progressive companies is to embrace this trend by becoming more open about theirimpacts and publicly setting out plans to improve. NEW OPPORTUNITIES MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX 19
  20. 20. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE Case studies barcoo is a mobile phone-enabled scanner system which informs consumers about the products they wish to buy, the sustainability credentials of the manufacturer, and where to buy the product at the cheapest price. It then allows users to share their knowledge with friends and family. OPOWER uses a digital platform to reinvent the way utilities companies interact with customers. Built on a sustainability promise, it gives utilities providers the technology to simplify information about household energy use and to show people how to make savings. OPOWER aims to be the ‘new normal’ for energy purchasing by creating a trusted community of consumers who use energy more efficiently and economically. THE CARBON DISCLOSURE PROJECT is an ICT-based platform designed to encourage corporations to become more transparent about their carbon budgets. Part of the trend towards open governance, it enables investors to add listed companies’ carbon credentials to their deliberations when making investment decisions. Fishing with 3G networks is a Brazilian initiative run through the Vivo 3G network. It uses data to help bring economic development to small-scale fishing communities whilst enhancing the sustainability of the fish stocks that they depend on at the same time. Fishermen provide daily data on the number and species of fish caught, and can then sell their catch directly to customers through an online market. This data is also used by government agencies to inform their sustainability programmes, and can be used to monitor fish stocks and water quality. The system can then direct boats away from over-exploited areas, and into sustainable fishing grounds that can provide a better catch and hence an improvement of family income.20
  21. 21. INTRODUCTIONCONCLUSIONS THE CARBON CONTEXTGiven today’s critical sustainability challenges, we must urgently look fordisruptive ideas and solutions that could rise to the challenges we face.ICT has potential to support and sustain the kinds of disruptive ideas and solutions that could riseto the challenges we face. The opportunities are limited only by imagination. REVIEWING THE RESEARCHWe have applied a framework that looks at direct, indirect and systemic impacts to help reviewopportunities for ICT to deliver such change. Our approach also helps to highlight where thebenefits might be greatest, and flags the risks that require far more attention.One of greatest areas of potential is for ICT to create new behaviours or systems, rather thansimply alter current ways of doing things. Take, for example, different models of ownershipdescribed in this report, specifically the adoption of car-sharing to reduce congestion as opposed GETTING BACK TO BASICS:to traffic management applications. ICT makes disruptive change such as this not only far easier A NEW ICT FRAMEWORKbut something that people desire, thanks to a shift in culture norms. In this example, a newgeneration of consumers is less concerned about car ownership, in part because ICT offers easyaccess to sharing schemes. It also helps to spread the word and reinforce the shift.Disruptive change ultimately comes when people are inspired to do things differently. As aplatform from which to experiment, ICT has the ability to drive good ideas. It enables people to APPLYING THE FRAMEWORKtest and grow initiatives with relatively little infrastructure and allows rapid learning without hugeresource or cost. Indeed, the more approaches we try and share, the more likely we are to succeed.Our focus differs from the other reports reviewed, which generally assume that carbon savingscome mostly from improving infrastructure and doing business more efficiently. Instead, we feelthat more should be made of how ICT can help individuals across the globe to connect, shareideas, adopt different approaches and act collectively to improve society. NEW OPPORTUNITIESOne of the main precursors to systemic change is achieving the widespread connections andcollaboration needed to take disruptive change to a scale where it becomes the ‘new normal’.Communication Companies are well placed to do this.As devices gain functionality and mobile technology reaches a greater proportion of the planet’spopulation, ICT companies have a unique opportunity to help people collaborate – and to harnessthe ideas and ingenuity of millions at the same time. MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX 21
  22. 22. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CHANGE APPENDIX A summary of the sustainability initiatives identified in the reports we reviewed, together with our classifications of the basic impact areas of each. 1) Saving the climate at the speed of light1 Broad categories of impact area cradle / waste Smart motors management Efficient ICT Dematerial- Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid buildings Cradle to sensing / logistics Remote (travel) isation Smart Smart Impact area A new and more efficient meeting culture: Travel replacement Example: Videoconference, Audio-conference, Other areas – X e.g. tele-education & tele-health Sustainable consumption: Dematerialisation Example: Virtual answering machine, Online phone billing, Web-taxation, Other X areas – e.g. e-paper & digital film Sustainable Community / City planning: Combined measures Example: Flexi-work, Other areas – e.g. flexible car ownership, X X X e-commerce, e-business, intelligent building heating 2) Smart 20202 Broad categories of impact area cradle / waste Smart motors management Efficient ICT Dematerial- Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid buildings Cradle to sensing / logistics Remote (travel) isation Smart Smart Impact area The direct effect X Dematerialisation Example: Online media, E-commerce, E-paper, X Videoconferencing, Telecommuting Smart motor systems Example: Variable speed drives X Smart logistics Example: Optimised routes & loading X Smart buildings Example: Building management systems, power X shut-offs at end of day Smart grids Example: Reduced transmission losses, demand X management 3) Impacts of ICTs on energy efficiency3 Broad categories of impact area cradle / waste Smart motors management Efficient ICT Dematerial- Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid buildings Cradle to sensing / logistics Remote (travel) isation Smart Smart Impact area ICT energy efficiency and direct impacts Example: Social and X environmental effects Low Energy Building Example: HVAC systems & lighting systems X Industrial Equipment and Automation Example: Electrical Drivers, X Motors, Pumps and Fans, Automation & power management Energy grids and Power Distribution Example: Supply & demand X management system, including metering & pricing Dematerialisation of Society Example: e-government, teleconferencing, X e-work, e-commerce, dematerialised goods & services 4) Carbon Connections 4 Broad categories of impact area cradle / waste Smart motors management Efficient ICT Dematerial- Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid buildings Cradle to sensing / logistics Remote (travel) isation Smart Smart Impact area Dematerialisation Example: Mobile telepresence, virtual office, X mobile delivery notifications for e-commerce Smart grid Example: Energy network monitoring, smart meter: X micro-power generation, smart meter: grid loading optimisation Smart logistics Example: Centralised tracking, decentralised tracking, X loading optimisation, onboard telematics, remote supply control Smart cities Example: Synchronised traffic & alert system X Smart manufacturing Example: High value product remote X monitoring module22
  23. 23. INTRODUCTION THE CARBON CONTEXT5) Reducing GHGs through intense use of ICT5 Broad categories of impact area cradle / waste Smart motors management Efficient ICT Dematerial- Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid buildings Cradle to sensing / logistics Remote (travel) isation Smart Smart Impact area REVIEWING THE RESEARCH Energy Generation and Distribution Example: Transmission and Distribution Network Management, Smart metering, Renewable X energy management systems, Intelligent Power Generation Industry Example: Intelligent motor controllers, Industrial process X X automation, Digital commercial printing Transport Example: Supply chain & logistic optimisation, Private transport optimisation,Virtual conferencing / telecommuting, X X X Efficient vehicles, Traffic flow optimisation Buildings Example: Energy management systems, Smart lighting (automation), Intelligent building design, Teleworking, X X X Demand-side management GETTING BACK TO BASICS: A NEW ICT FRAMEWORK6) Using ICTs to tackle Climate Change 6 Broad categories of impact area cradle / waste Smart motors management Efficient ICT Dematerial- Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid buildings Cradle to sensing / logistics Remote (travel) isation Smart Smart Impact area Actions on adaptation to climate change Example: Monitoring APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK the global ecosystem, Addressing resource shortages. Monitoring deforestation. Waste management. Increasing energy supply X X X X efficiency & use of renewables. Climate Change Education Healthcare Actions to reduce GHG emissions Example: More efficient ICT X hardware Actions on mitigation of Climate Change Example: Reducing Carbon emissions in other sectors, Smart grids, Promoting smart industries, X X X X Reducing or replacing travel, Smart logistics7) Make IT Green7 Broad categories of impact area NEW OPPORTUNITIES cradle / waste Smart motors management Efficient ICT Dematerial- Smart cities monitoring equipment Smart Grid buildings Cradle to sensing / logistics Remote (travel) isation Smart Smart Impact area Smartgrid Example: Integration & management of distributed power generation, demand management, distributed storage X systems, wireless grid management, vehicle to grid charging/ storage, demand response Transportation Example: More efficient ICT hardware X MAKING THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE Dematerialisation Example: Teleconference & meeting facilitation, route planning/goods management, desktop virtualisation, smart X X appliances, e-books, e-music, paperless workspace, digital photos, cloud/virtualisation of servers Buildings Example: Real-time transfer of information, smart meter connectivity, GHG management dashboards, building energy X management Information Management Example: Facility level GHG management, X supply chain management and GHG reporting CONCLUSIONS1 WWF & ETNO, (2005). Saving the Climate @ the speed of light – First roadmap for reduced CO2 emissions in the EU and beyond ( The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (2008) Smart2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age ( bio Intelligence Service (2008) Impacts of Information and Communication Technologies on Energy Efficiency – final report to the European Commission DG INFSO ( Vodafone & Accenture (2009) Carbon Connections: Quantifying mobile’s role in tackling climate change ( IDC (2009) Reducing Greenhouse Gases Through Intense Use of Information and Communication Technology ( APPENDIX6 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & Global eSustainability Initiative (2010) Using ICTs to Tackle Climate Change ( Greenpeace International (2010) Make IT Green: Cloud computing and its contribution to climate change ( 23