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IT and sustainable development - a central issue for the future

A summary of strategic issues related to ICT and sustainable development. Identifies four prerequisites in order to create an efficient framework for the government to adopt ICT development initiatives: a vision, both personal and monetary resources, clearly defined responsibility, and focus and structure. This report focuses on the last prerequisite. A national initiative must focus on measurable and communicable changes in order to promote sustainable development through ICTs. Presents proposals for various initiatives, which are divided into two categories: a structure for overall work and a structure of four strategic areas. Over time, cultural, democratic, and economic changes initiated by ICTs should be analyzed. Expounds four principles for integrating discussions on ICTs and sustainability in the private and public sectors: shift focus from products to services; include environmental issues in all ICT investments, reduce rebound effects and calculate total gains, use parallel time horizons. A limited number of focus areas for establishing ICT and sustainability should be defined due to the rapid development of technology, the impossibility of a reactive approach, and the entrance of a younger generation with technical skills into the labor market. Four proposed areas from the project Forum IT och Miljö are: Energy and environmental impact of the IT products themselves, Transport and communication/Virtual mobility, Community planning, and Production and consumption patterns. Report is split into six chapters: Background; Purpose, procedures and limitations; Starting points; A national initiative; Focusing and structuring the work; Conclusion. The appendix includes GRI's guidelines for reporting direct, indirect, and systemic efforts by IT companies.
Dennis Pamlin, Ewa Thorslund
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Industry Focus: 
Information & Telecommunication
Bibliographies & Reports