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====== How sustainability and ICT are linked together

Sustainability and ICT are in my opinion strongly linked together. Whereas ICT provides at the same time opportunities to sustainable development, it also creates problems, such as the rising demand of energy. Nevertheless I think that today and especially in the future ICT & GreenIT will play a major role regarding sustainable development. I think that although ICT has created some issues such as; in 2008 researches estimated that ICT is responsible for 2% of the greenhouse gas emissions and considering any individual business ICT is accountable for much higher percentage regarding the businesses greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless in my opinion ICT has contributed to sustainable development to greater extent than it has created issues. Same researchers also argued that ICT could provide a solution to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Also I see ICT as a major part of the solution to sustainability issues and as a tool to reach sustainable lifestyle.

ICT and three pillars of sustainable development

What is sustainable development or sustainability actually? Sustainable development is constructed from three pillars or dimensions, which are ecological, social and environmental dimension. How can ICT contribute to these three pillars? ICT can be used to increase our knowledge of our environment and reduce the environmental burden, then again how can we reduce the environmental impact of production, use and disposal of ICT. Considering social dimension, what is ICT’s role in social development, how are we able to use ICT to promote communities working towards the mission to achieve sustainable development? Can ICT support and offer a solution for social justice in a global scale? Then again concentrating to economic dimension, does ICT play a key role for structural change within the economy from industrial to post-industrial mode? Is ICT a solution to reduce interdependence of economic growth and growing resource consumption, replace virtual modes of production and consumption for energy-intensive processes, to dematerialize significant parts of economic system? Can ICT guide growing or emerging economies to advance into this mode without imitating the unsustainable manners of the industrial mode first?

ICT and its contribution to sustainable development

ICT offers a profitable opportunity and plays a crucial role regarding other sectors to shape and apply solutions required to establish a green economy and society. ICT performance will continue be highly important for developed countries in order to sustain long-term competitiveness and improving the innovation potential of such countries. Nevertheless ICT performance for developed economies will also be as important regarding the promotion of structural transformation, growing effectiveness and also lowering the digital, economic and social division within their areas. ICT can provide important data through modeling of natural disasters in example, changes in the global ecosystem, energy consumption et cetera. ICT can help to promote so-called smart network thus to control the use of energy more effectively for example, this would directly address the question of the continual rising demand of energy in the world. ICT contributes to social sustainability by offering larger access to basic services within all of the societies segments and enhances the ways these basic services, such as finance, education and healthcare for example are delivered to citizens. ICT reduces environmental affect of existing services through dematerialization, such things as books, music, bills or even meetings that before required a physical presence are matters that can be dematerialized through ICT. Economic growth is promoted through ICT for instance; as a result of availability of a broadband, computers and software in a country it will improve its competitiveness and the general performance of its economy in long-term.

Articles used:

ict_and_sustainable_development.pdf

ict_sustainable_development.pdf

understanding_the_maturity_of_sustainble_ict.pdf

==== Computing Research for Sustainability – Chapter 3 learning outcomes. Henri Mikkola ====

What I learned from this chapter is the fact that CS research can be a vital solution for addressing sustainability issues. It will not be single solutions but instead it can be combined with other solutions to create a more effective outcome towards sustainable development. It was also an important learning point to begin CS research with bottom-up method thus selecting a critical sustainable issue and solving it rather than trying to achieve universality from the beginning. For me it was eye-opening experience to really discover some concrete areas where CS research can be used and how it can contribute towards sustainability. The possibilities that CS research can provide is vast and although for me it has been evident that computer science will be needed for modeling or sensing I did not realize before the vast amount of opportunities that evolving CS research can provide. Also I have earlier thought that in order to achieve sustainability in our current lifestyle and change our behavior we need education from the beginning. The same applies to CS research whereas it should be an important element in education to address and also increase the amount of education provided. I think that this is the most important point within sustainable future because future generations should already learn to become sustainable and how they can contribute towards sustainable development from the beginning rather than trying to learn these issues later on. I think that what chapter 3 really provided is the important linkage between sustainability, universality and bottom-up approach – how these three can be effectively combined together in order to promote each other. What was enlightening for me while reading the chapter 3 or actually the whole book was the amount of potential that lies with in CS research for sustainability. I think it is a shame that even though I have selected sustainability as my minor I have not come across CS research and sustainability before. I think that this has been somewhat a missing linkage for everything I have learned, somewhat the enabler to sustainable future – the key element for achieving sustainable development. Chapter 3 brings everything well together and really shows how much possibilities CS research can propose to the global challenges and how it can be done.

==== Roadmap to Greener Computing – Chapter 1 learning outcomes. Henri Mikkola ====

From this chapter I really learned that how much toxins do computer parts still contain. I have somewhat taken it for granted that computer parts would not include toxins today but the book shows the reality. I could not help to consider the renewal period of new components within computers; this is really fast thus the amount of waste generated is huge. Also considering that these parts contain so many toxins even today is very alarming. Nevertheless the chapter also proposed some interesting solutions that were somewhat obvious that I could not help to think that why haven’t these already been applied. Some solutions were kind of interesting such as the bamboos usage. What was clear already for me is the importance and usability of life cycle analysis thus this did not propose anything new. While reading the chapter I started to think about the modern computers and how much power they today require, which is also constantly increasing. This is highlighted in the industry sector because industries generally represent larger scale use thus the impact is higher. For me it was an important matter to deal with and I had my own experience from the past as well while I used computer for gaming. While the parts constantly evolved and developed it was not enough to renew some parts but always the power supply had to be changed while the amount of power constantly increased to run the PC smoothly. If the power supply would not be changed the computer would not have enough power to run the improved CPU or graphical card, the memory increase et cetera. I started to think about solutions that were also presented within the book that how to deal with the increasing amount of energy required. The book proposed different types of solutions to tackle these issues but couldn’t the power saving be directly within the design of these new improved parts of the computers rather than turning off computers, using virtual servers et cetera? Obviously such idle modes are present as the book shows but wouldn’t it be more effective to design new parts that are more powerful but require less energy? As the chapter proposed data centers produce a lot of heat and require at the same time cooling, this heat generated should be used effectively for warming up houses for example. I think that end-of-life is a highly important issue to address within computing because the lifecycle of a CPU or a memory is very low, there are constant improvements in an accelerating rate. What was new today is old after few months.