Powering down: Remedies for unsustainable ICT

Reference Type:

Journal Article

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Published In:

Foresight

Year:

2007

Author(s):

Simon Forge

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Purpose – The paper aims to examine the contribution of information and communication technology (ICT) to climate change, the origins of ICT unsustainability and explores some possible remedies. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on a variety of sources to survey the many problems of sustainable ICTs; their energy consumption trends; planned obsolescence; hazardous materials and hazardous disposal; and analyses the way forward. Findings – Highlights the unsustainability of many ICT trends, e.g. power consumption in data centers, and the extent to which ICT affects progress towards an economy's environmental sustainability. Originality/value – This paper provides a novel approach to ICT sustainability, highlighting unsustainability of current software technology and related hardware trends, especially the threat of operating systems to planetary sustainability, as well as the growing power consumption trends in data centers.