Sustainable Communication


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Sustainable Communication

  1. 1. MJ1261 Hållbar Utveckling 2009/10/08 That’s me! I have a bachelor in computer science and a master in sustainable technology. They seem unrelated, but I’ll present my view on their connections. JORGE ZAPICO KTH / CSC / Media / Industrial Ecology Centre for Sustainable Communications
  2. 2. Computers and ICT have changed the way we live and work, the way we grow, learn and communicate with others
  3. 3. Everywhere in the world
  4. 4. But at the same time the old industrial way keeps going.
  5. 5. And we are still using this kind of stuff.
  6. 6. And environmental problems keep growing: climate change, pollution, resource depletion, And this is the result (The graph is CO2 concentration)
  7. 7. So, what do these two things have in common?
  8. 8. A.DIRECT IMPACT The environmental impact of hardware production, usage and end of life
  9. 9. We buy more and more electronic devices, and new things keep coming. For instance I want one of these new tablets coming soon.. And they will be old technology after one year. Accelerating development Design for obsolescence Increased consumerism
  10. 10. A laptop average replacement time is 3 years
  11. 11. For mobile phones it is just 18 months
  12. 12. 1 billion handsets per year Only in January 2009 India got 15 million new mobile users
  13. 13. Much of this hardware is hidden from our view
  14. 14. Electronic equipment contains a big part of the periodic table
  15. 15. We are buying enormous amounts of electronic devices + they are full with scarce and toxic materials + their life span is short = we got a problem! Growing e-waste problem
  16. 16. 8.7 million tons ewaste each year in the EU. There is no data of what happen to 75% of it.
  17. 17. That’s an sculpture made RoHS of the amount of electric +electronic waste that WEEE one person generates in a lifetime Green our electronics WEEE: EU directive that makes the producer responsible of the waste RoHS: Ban of several toxic substances in electronics (as lead) Green our electronics: Greenpeace campaign for increasing awareness of these problems
  18. 18. Numbers from apple. Not that true for Swedish Most of carbon scenario, but still a big part. impact is in the use phase: electricity
  19. 19. < Surprising but true! Check the tool we made at and A modern laptop you can play with several things like this. consumes less than an old light bulb
  20. 20. The use-phase energy can be sustainable Ericsson project: solar powered chargers
  21. 21. The network-side energy can be sustainable
  22. 22. Possible solutions for decreasing these problems Cloud computing Virtualization Back to dumb clients
  23. 23. B.INDIRECT IMPACT The environmental impact of the changes that ICT produces in the way we live brings. Positive and negative.
  24. 24. Dematerialization of knowledge For instance in my e- reader I’ve got place for all the books I could possible read in my whole life
  25. 25. Virtual presence
  26. 26. Optimization Smart Grids Computers can made everything much efficient. For instance the electrical grid: making appliances use power when lower demand and such things.
  27. 27. But optimization works also for other things. ICT optimization is one of the reasons we have cheap flights now, equal lots of emissions... Optimization
  28. 28. The paperless office Technology sometimes hasn’t delivered what it promised. For instance the end of paper when computers were introduced in the office.
  29. 29. Telecommuting Or reducing traveling by just communicating online, it has instead increased travelling
  30. 30. Rebound effects Technology has usually unexpected consequences in the real world, sometimes the opposite of our predictions Rebound effects need to be taken into account!
  31. 31. C. SOCIETAL IMPACT ICT use as a tool for societal change and generator of sustainability.
  32. 32. ICT for Development See the video: Access to knowledge Empowerment
  33. 33. Using web technologies for connecting people in need with people with means. New forms of helping Horizontal social organization
  34. 34. Giving voice to democracy
  35. 35. Making the electricity consumption visible and help in reducing it. Making visible the invisible
  36. 36. Accounting Accounting for carbon sustainability dioxide emissions is the first step for changing. Changing behavior In this case is travel CO2 thanks to
  37. 37. Many ICT applications try to change our behavior and increase our awareness. This one is we:offset by Nokia. Using GPS it knows you have taken a plane to another country and encourage you to offset the emissions
  38. 38. 1.1 T racking carbon footprint People is forming communities and coming together on internet to try to solve things.
  39. 39. Open source and creative commons are great movements coming from the ICT world. Check the vide: Bringing open source to the physical world
  40. 40. ICT makes easier to behave in an environmental friendly way. Check http://
  41. 41. My key point is that computers have changed our society in a deep way, and these changes affects sustainability (the way society interacts with nature) for good or for bad.
  42. 42. There are some technological patterns in the previous opportunities Key technologies to keep an eye in
  43. 43. Single most used technology of history. More than 60% of the world population owns one and growing. With convergence it would be the only device we need. Mobile phones
  44. 44. Pervasive Sensors Geo data Computer control
  45. 45. Virtual knowledge
  46. 46. Virtual Presence
  47. 47. Social Media
  48. 48. The open movement
  49. 49. What will happen in the future? Technology is developing at an accelerating pace. Do we have the time to analyze its impact in society and in the environment? Will the environment allow this continue development? Or will it say stop and change the course of technological development?
  50. 50. Conclusion ICT is having more impact than we think in the pursuit of sustainability, both positive than negative These positive impacts can be That’s my point! empowered ICTs are just tools! It is what WE made with them, will be design tools ICT as any tool is what we make of for increasing air travel? or it applications to make the world better?
  51. 51. Contact at: Thanks for watching! Send my questions / comments at those places in the right! Jorge Zapico English / Swedish / Spanish / and easy Japanese are welcome =) http:// @zapico Presentation at