The Impact of ICT on GHG emissions- How Green are Virtual Worlds? Kevin  J Houston Carbon Masters
The Effects of ICT on Environmental Sustainability First Order (( direct result of i ts   existence Third Order long-term,...
ICT represents a 2 Edged sword <ul><li>2 % </li></ul><ul><li>The Good news: ICT has the  potential  to reduce emissions in...
Virtual World Technologies… Exhibit the same ambiguity <ul><li>Rapidly growing technology </li></ul><ul><li>80% of all int...
How Green are Virtual Worlds? <ul><li>In a recent article  Nicholas Carr calculated that the Avatar of a high user of Seco...
Dematerialisation of Transport is a vital but challenging Abatement  opportunity  <ul><li>Aviation generates the most CO 2...
<ul><li>To carry out an assessment of the current use of VWT in general and Second Life in particular in a small non rando...
IBM-Virtual conference in SL 264 participants  over 3 days Hardware Total power consumption ( Kwh GHG emissions  CO 2  e P...
Imperial College-  1 day Virtual Climate change conference in SL. 62 participants across 5 Universities Hardware Total Pow...
<ul><li>Technically challenging to bring these new technologies behind an enterprise firewall </li></ul><ul><li>( protocol...
<ul><li>Need  to capture the embedded energy and carbon in the production of PC’s and servers to improve the calculation <...
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ICT and GHG emissions: Just how green are virtual worlds - Kevin Houston (http://www.carbonmasters.co.uk)

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Presentation on the Impact of ICT and GHG emissions: Just how green are virtual worlds? given by Kevin Houston (http://www.carbonmasters.co.uk) at the JISC GECO/STEEV Green Energy Tech Event (#e3vis) on Thursday 13th October 2011.

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  • ICT has positive and negative effects on the environment. The first-order effects are where most attention is focused (it&apos;s the direct effect of ICT on the environment, such as contamination throughout the life cycle or GHG emissions). However, ICT has major second-order effects (ICTs ability to change business processes to improve the environmental effects of those processes (such as through travel substitution or e-business) and third-order effects (long-term changes to behaviors or economic structures). First-order effects are understood reasonably well. Second-order effects are somewhat understood, but very patchy. Third-order effects are not understand well. There are studies that show that ICT&apos;s established and potential influence for reducing the environmental effects (and cost) of business operations, and that of products and services, is substantial. But the discussion and analysis of this will heat up during the next 12 months and beyond. And so much of that potential benefit relies on behavioral and policy issues. ICT is used and will increasingly be used as a substitute for travel. E-business can and does substantially reduce the effects of procurement and supply chain activities. ICT is used in increasingly smarter and networked environmental control systems, cutting costs and emissions. Enterprises and vendors can influence first- and second-order effects. Policy makers can and will influence all three. The overall effect at a macro-economic level is that ICT does affect the material, energy and transportation intensity of the economy. Depending on the policy framework, those effects can be positive or negative. Strategic Imperative: IT vendors, users and academia must analyze, communicate and improve the environmental value of IT. And, in so doing, move the discussion beyond the mostly negative first-order effects of IT. If industry doesn&apos;t, politicians and regulators will act in haste. CIOs and IT strategists must offer creative, effective ICT solutions to reduce the environmental impact of business operations, products and services throughout their life cycles.
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  • ICT and GHG emissions: Just how green are virtual worlds - Kevin Houston (http://www.carbonmasters.co.uk)

    1. 1. The Impact of ICT on GHG emissions- How Green are Virtual Worlds? Kevin J Houston Carbon Masters
    2. 2. The Effects of ICT on Environmental Sustainability First Order (( direct result of i ts existence Third Order long-term, socio-economic structural changes) Second Order ( from application GHG Emission E- Waste Hazardous Substances Use of Scarce, Nonrenewable Resources Travel Substitution Transportation Optimization E-Business E- Government Environmental Control Systems Energy Intensity GHG Intensity Transportation Intensity Material Intensity
    3. 3. ICT represents a 2 Edged sword <ul><li>2 % </li></ul><ul><li>The Good news: ICT has the potential to reduce emissions in other sectors by </li></ul>The Bad News: ICT Accounts for Approximately … … of Global CO2 Emissions 1 5 % ** Smart buildings,Smart metering, Smart Motor systems,Smart Logistics plus Dematerialisation of Transport ) ** VS
    4. 4. Virtual World Technologies… Exhibit the same ambiguity <ul><li>Rapidly growing technology </li></ul><ul><li>80% of all internet users will have a VW presence by 2011..Gartner </li></ul><ul><li>597 million registered users in 2009 ( mostly the young and very young </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life has 20 million registered users </li></ul><ul><li>40,000 to 50,000 Avatars on at any one time </li></ul>
    5. 5. How Green are Virtual Worlds? <ul><li>In a recent article Nicholas Carr calculated that the Avatar of a high user of Second Life consumed 1,752 kWh per year (Carr et al, 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>This is similar to the 1,884kWh consumption of a Brazilian for all purposes (although much smaller than the average 7,702kWh/year in developed countries). </li></ul><ul><li>In a follow up comment on Carr's post, Sun's Dave Douglas added that this ‘1,752 kWh equates to about 1.17 tons of CO2 (Carr et al, 2006). </li></ul>
    6. 6. Dematerialisation of Transport is a vital but challenging Abatement opportunity <ul><li>Aviation generates the most CO 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Replacing physical with Virtual meetings could contribute to reducing travel emissions AND curb aviation growth </li></ul><ul><li>Transport emissions are the fastest growing sector </li></ul><ul><li>Travel emissions( Business travel plus commuting contribute between 20% and 75% of a companies carbon footprint( IBM ) </li></ul><ul><li>Business class travel contributes disproportionately to Airlines profitability </li></ul><ul><li>The vast bulk of business travel by large corporates is for internal meetings </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>To carry out an assessment of the current use of VWT in general and Second Life in particular in a small non random sample of large UK and International educational and business organizations ( Shell, Edinburgh University) </li></ul><ul><li>To carry out a more detailed analysis in 2 of the organizations by measuring the carbon emissions reductions achieved by specific use cases involving meetings held in a virtual world in place of physical meetings.( IBM,Imperial College London) </li></ul>How Green Are Virtual Worlds?
    8. 8. IBM-Virtual conference in SL 264 participants over 3 days Hardware Total power consumption ( Kwh GHG emissions CO 2 e PC’s 1140.5 0.365 Servers 0.134 0.134 total 1560.5 0.499
    9. 9. Imperial College- 1 day Virtual Climate change conference in SL. 62 participants across 5 Universities Hardware Total Power consumption GHG emissions CO 2 e PC’s 26.4 0.008 Servers Total 36 62. 0.011 0.019
    10. 10. <ul><li>Technically challenging to bring these new technologies behind an enterprise firewall </li></ul><ul><li>( protocols, scripting ,VOIP, SW Purchasing ) </li></ul><ul><li>Raises issues of how to better integrate the world of “personal” computing and “enterprise” computing- the “interhead” vs the “internet” </li></ul><ul><li>Many behavioural issues need to be addressed, culture of business travel, seen as a perk, mixed incentives for travel vs an ICT alternative </li></ul>However major barriers exist to expand the use of VWT to abate travel emissions in large corporates
    11. 11. <ul><li>Need to capture the embedded energy and carbon in the production of PC’s and servers to improve the calculation </li></ul><ul><li>The very pervasiveness if ICT requires that we need to better understand the impacts it has on human behaviour both in the workplace and outside and how the very structured IT environments within enterprises can be made to work better alongside the unstructured way consumers increasingly access and use IT outside the workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>We need more research of these 3 rd order effects before the undoubted potential of ICT to make a positive contribution to resolving the climate change challenge can be made real and its current double edged nature resolved. </li></ul>In conclusion

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