The Carbon Dimension of the Cloud – Enabling the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy through ICT

EIF Breakfast Debate


Evidence shows that the ICT sector has enormous potential to cut carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and promote sustainable economic growth.

The diffusion of ICT solutions across different sectors of the economy can enable global carbon reductions by as much as 15% and save up to EUR 600 billion by the year 2020 (SMART 2020: Enabling the Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age). As stakeholders begin to recognise the role of ICT in speeding up Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy, there is a need to further explore the impact of certain key “enabling technologies” including cloud computing.

Cloud computing can significantly reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of organisations by shifting IT services from on-premise servers to the web. Whilst the technology is already available and there are few technological barriers hindering uptake, it remains unclear whether cloud computing will actually realise its carbon abatement potential in the absence of sufficient market penetration and appropriate policy support. The breakfast debate will focus on the carbon reduction impact of cloud computing, and the role of policy and likely adoption in different European countries.

Programme - 28/03/2012

Welcome and introductory remarks

Bill Newton Dunn, MEP and EIF Governor


Alice Valvodova, Executive Director, Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)

Main findings and recommendations of GeSI and Microsoft-supported study “The Enabling Technologies of a Low-Carbon Economy- A Focus on Cloud Computing”

Jan Willem Boissevain, Partner Business Consulting, Logica

Case study: last year the city of Utrecht was looking for innovative ways to manage its public facilities and reduce municipal energy consumption. In collaboration with cloud services provider Logica, the city is now able to manage its lighting, sewage systems, roads and much more, all from a secure, centralised location. In the past year alone, this migration to cloud-based solutions has cut costs by 20 percent, and resulted in energy savings of up to 40 percent.

Rui Gomes, Chief Technology Officer, Hospital Fernando Fonseca

Case study: Hospital Fernando Fonseca is a public hospital in the Lisbon metropolitan area with approximately 3,000 staff. Through the adoption of cloud computing, the hospital was able to make its operations more efficient and environmentally friendly. Cloud services have allowed staff to collaborate more easily whilst halting paper consumption and printing.

Comments by

Colette Maloney, Head of Unit ICT for Sustainable Growth, European Commission

Exchange of views with participants
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