Toward low carbon business processes by Green ICT (ICT4LC)
The aim of the project is to accelerate the digitalization of business processes for SMEs in the Satakunta region while enhancing the transition to more low carbon and energy efficient business processes. Methods will be developed and demonstrated whereby companies can self-assess the energy efficiency of the ICT they use and the emissions caused. An important objective of the project is to increase public knowledge of the usage of electric energy in contemporary information systems and reveal the "hidden" consumption of electric power in data centers and other network elements of ICT systems.
Even though ICT enables great benefits in productivity and often significant cost savings, nevertheless its ever-increasing use causes harmful “hidden” effects that people are not yet fully aware of. The use of increasing ICT may even jeopardize national emissions targets, unless the overall effects of ICT’s energy efficiency can be taken into account when digitalizing business processes. The poor energy efficiency of the ICT currently in use is an issue affecting emissions worldwide, which unfortunately is known by very few outside expert circles. This is partly due to the fact that users are unable to perceive the hidden energy consumption of the IT systems working in the background, caused by their application. The end user generally sees the consumption of only their own end device, which is only a fraction of the total energy consumption resulting from the use of the device. In practice, the majority of the energy consumption is in fact attributable to the share of the IT networks, data and computing centers, and the power needed to keep them on standby. In addition, if the majority of the forecasted IoT systems and their support IT systems are implemented according to current practice, an almost catastrophic peak in electrical consumption lies ahead.
The main goal of the project is to change attitudes and behavior related to ICT usage by making energy consumption visible, and to enable low carbon targets to be taken into account in digitalizing business processes. The results of the project also aim to help to strengthen the implementation of so-called Green ICT solutions in organizations’ operations. In the project, both national and international practices, models, and methods are to be mapped, analyzed, and further developed into practical tools in order to support SMEs and the public sector. On the basis of the research work, tools and suggested concrete action plans to promote low carbon business processes and energy saving actions that support sustainable development will be compiled for companies, and also for actors in the public sector. The main results of the project are self-assessment methods for the energy efficiency and LCA of ICT and a modeling method for low carbon digital business processes. The tools and methods will be tested and demonstrated by SMEs and the public sector in the Satakunta region.
Euroopan aluekehitysrahasto EAKR