Opinion: Australia’s ICT industry goes green

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Opinion: Australia’s ICT industry goes green

Technology has the potential to be a major part of the solution to Australia’s environmental challenges. This is particularly true when considering the issue of climate change.

The ICT industry can be at the forefront of developing energy efficient products, and must also lead the way in the fight against climate change.

While the benefits of technology are far-reaching, we must also look for ways to reduce the amount of energy required to keep our technological devices functioning and our potential impact on the environment through e-waste.

ICT is already making valuable contributions to sustainable environmental management by improving data collection, monitoring and response systems, aiding the response to environmental emergencies and enabling more efficient resource use.

Look at NICTA’s Water Information Networks project, for example, which is developing advanced wireless sensor network technology to improve water efficiency in the Australian dairy, horticulture and viticulture industries to revolutionise water resource management in Australia.

Or, the Australian Information and Industry Associaton's (AIIA) development of a hardware recycling scheme, and which we are now lobbying governments across Australia to work with us to implement a national program based on the principles of shared responsibility.

ICT applications can be used to reduce the consumption of energy, water and other essential natural resources through more efficient agriculture and industrial procedures. Global positioning systems, for instance, can facilitate weather and soil monitoring, crop forecasting and the ability to ensure more efficient use of precious water resources.

ICT will be at the forefront in the fight against climate change - not only by providing useful metrics and information, but also by enabling population decentralisation and large-scale telecommuting.

The energy crisis, the costs, the post-oil future, and the future of energy alternatives like hydrogen, hybrids and biofuels will be an essential factor into every business decision as the 21st century progresses. Organisations will be able to grow their bottom line and contribute to cooling the globe by extending the use of technology and allowing home offices as a real alternative to travelling to work in an office.

Sheryle Moon, chief executive officer, Australian Information Industry Association
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