Japan the only top-tier country in IDC’s ICT Sustainability Index

IDC announced the complete results from the ICT Sustainability Index,which ranks the ability of the G20 nations to use Information andCommunications Technologies (ICT) to reduce their CO2 emissions.

IDCranked Japan as the only top-tier country in the Index with a score of16, which means that Japan has the greatest potential of reducinggreenhouse gases from focused use of ICT. Following Japan in the tier 2group were the United States, with a score of 20, and the UnitedKingdom, France, Germany, and Brazil with a score of 21. The completeresults of the ICT Sustainability Index were released at a pressconference in Copenhagen.

According to IDC’s calculations, 5.8billion tons (GT) of CO2 emissions could be eliminated by 2020 throughthe 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 greenhousegases for just the G20 nations, which account for more than seventypercent of the world’s gross domestic product and the world’s carbonemissions. Further reductions in global CO2 emissions could be realizedif more countries used ICT-based solutions to their full potential.

Indeveloping the CO2 reduction model, IDC’s criterion for selecting ICTsolutions were simple and clear. “The core technologies had to passthree tests: they had to be mature enough to provide real benefitswithin three years, support significant processing on a network, and bediscrete independent technologies,” said Philip Carter, associateresearch 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.

“Webelieve that we have been able to normalize economic, energy, and ICTprofiles to determine a country’s ability to use ICT to reduce its CO2emissions. Countries with diverse characteristics such as Australia,Brazil, Canada, China, and the United States can at last be equallycompared to each other,” said Vernon Turner, senior vice president ofIDC’s Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer and Telecom Research.

InJapan, transport-related sources constitute the largest share of CO2equivalent (CO2e) reduction potential (30 percent), slightly more thanthe equivalent share for all G20 countries (29 percent).

Thenext largest reduction potential in Japan is for power and buildings,at 27 percent and 25 percent respectively, which is somewhat less thanthe G20 as a whole. At 18 percent, the CO2e reduction potentialrepresented by industry sources in Japan is also somewhat higher thanthat of the G20 as a whole (14 percent). This suggests that in therealm of CO2e reduction opportunities, industry-based sources areespecially important in Japan.

Within the 17 core ICTtechnologies, the study shows the following technologies lead the CO2reduction opportunities in 2020 for Japan:

* renewable energymanagement systems in the energy generation & distribution sectorare seen as providing the most significant source of CO2e reduction (10percent)
* energy management systems and intelligent building designin the building sector are expected to account for 12 percent and 8percent, respectively.
* supply chain and logistics optimization inthe transport sector represents Japan’s most significant CO2e reduction(18 percent).
* use of intelligent motor controllers in the industrysector is seen as providing the sector’s largest CO2e reduction (11percent).

Under normal ICT-capable reduction as modeled by IDC,Japan is projected to achieve a CO2e reduction of 318.5 million tonsannually by 2020. For the G20 as a whole to achieve a 25 percentreduction in this timeframe, Japan will need to expand its reduction by35 percent (111.5 million tons) to 430 million tons in accordance withits current resources and energy usage profile.

Finally, thetop-tier status in the ICT Sustainability Index does not guarantee thatJapan can easily achieve the greenhouse gas reduction goal.

TomoakiNakamura, research vice president at IDC Japan, stated, “It isimportant for Japan policy makers and ICT leaders to have a clear ideaof what technologies they should invest in and how effectively thosetechnologies contribute to reduce CO2 emissions in the long run.”