TOKYO, JAPAN: IDC announced the complete results from the ICT Sustainability Index, which ranks the ability of the G20 nations to use Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to reduce their CO2 emissions.
IDC ranked Japan as the only top-tier country in the Index with a score of 16, which means that Japan has the greatest potential of reducing greenhouse gases from focused use of ICT. Following Japan in the tier 2 group were the United States, with a score of 20, and the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Brazil with a score of 21. The complete results of the ICT Sustainability Index were released at a press conference in Copenhagen.
According to IDC's calculations, 5.8 billion tons (GT) of CO2 emissions could be eliminated by 2020 through the focused use of 17 core technologies in four major economic sectors: energy generation and distribution, transport, buildings, and industry.
The estimate represents the potential reduction in greenhouse gases for just the G20 nations, which account for more than seventy percent of the world's gross domestic product and the world's carbon emissions. Further reductions in global CO2 emissions could be realized if more countries used ICT-based solutions to their full potential.
In developing the CO2 reduction model, IDC’s criterion for selecting ICT solutions were simple and clear. “The core technologies had to pass three tests: they had to be mature enough to provide real benefits within three years, support significant processing on a network, and be discrete independent technologies,” said Philip Carter, associate research director for Green IT & Sustainability Research.
In order to compare countries within the G20 fairly, IDC considers a series of measurable variables that relates to:
* The current state of technology penetration and practices within the country.
* Characteristics of the physical infrastructure and geographic factors.
* The relative difficulty each country will have in achieving its underlying potential.
“We believe that we have been able to normalize economic, energy, and ICT profiles to determine a country’s ability to use ICT to reduce its CO2 emissions. Countries with diverse characteristics such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, and the United States can at last be equally compared to each other,” said Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer and Telecom Research.
In Japan, transport-related sources constitute the largest share of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) reduction potential (30 percent), slightly more than the equivalent share for all G20 countries (29 percent).
The next largest reduction potential in Japan is for power and buildings, at 27 percent and 25 percent respectively, which is somewhat less than the G20 as a whole. At 18 percent, the CO2e reduction potential represented by industry sources in Japan is also somewhat higher than that of the G20 as a whole (14 percent). This suggests that in the realm of CO2e reduction opportunities, industry-based sources are especially important in Japan.
Within the 17 core ICT technologies, the study shows the following technologies lead the CO2 reduction opportunities in 2020 for Japan:
* renewable energy management systems in the energy generation & distribution sector are seen as providing the most significant source of CO2e reduction (10 percent)
* energy management systems and intelligent building design in the building sector are expected to account for 12 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
* supply chain and logistics optimization in the transport sector represents Japan's most significant CO2e reduction (18 percent).
* use of intelligent motor controllers in the industry sector is seen as providing the sector's largest CO2e reduction (11 percent).
Under normal ICT-capable reduction as modeled by IDC, Japan is projected to achieve a CO2e reduction of 318.5 million tons annually by 2020. For the G20 as a whole to achieve a 25 percent reduction in this timeframe, Japan will need to expand its reduction by 35 percent (111.5 million tons) to 430 million tons in accordance with its current resources and energy usage profile.
Finally, the top-tier status in the ICT Sustainability Index does not guarantee that Japan can easily achieve the greenhouse gas reduction goal.
Tomoaki Nakamura, research vice president at IDC Japan, stated, “It is important for Japan policy makers and ICT leaders to have a clear idea of what technologies they should invest in and how effectively those technologies contribute to reduce CO2 emissions in the long run.”