Enterprises will soon be operating in an economy in which the growth in greenhouse gas emissions is halted and then reduced, and one in which greenhouse gases have a cost and/or are capped. According to Gartner analysts, technology innovation will have an important role in how this economy would be enforced and regulated, and will be an enabler for enterprises to exploit the opportunities of a low carbon economy.
Speaking at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Sydney this week, analysts said information technology (IT) would play an increasingly important part in an organisation’s long term commitment to environmental sustainability.
While Gartner estimates that IT itself contributes approximately two percent of global carbon emissions, and there are many steps that organisations can take to reduce this, the more important role for IT is to help reduce the other 98 percent of carbon emissions.
In the ‘low carb’ economy, IT’s main role will be in creating new innovations to reduce the CO2 footprint of the organisation, its supply chain, and that of its products and services. However, IT is currently being overlooked as a potential source of opportunity because neither the business nor IT understands the possible contribution.
In Australia, this creates opportunities for IT to develop new systems to track power consumption and “carbon footprint”, and to support the country’s carbon trading schemes. At one end of the spectrum, high carbon emitters such as large power companies will invest in completely new carbon trading technology. On a broader level, many organisations will implement some kind of carbon accounting and auditing system to monitor the organisation’s carbon footprint.
Every enterprise needs to quickly develop a carbon strategy that ensures they thrive in a low-carbon economy.
Gartner believes technology will be an enabler or complementary to many carbon abatement technologies. Enabling capabilities are:
IT managers need to ensure they are fixing the IT infrastructure itself, in terms of making it more energy efficient. But very importantly they need to be looking at how they can use IT to reduce the energy and carbon on business operations and the value chains in which they operate.
Simon Mingay, Research VP, Gartner said: “This is not a fad. Once an enterprise has made a meaningful commitment to environmental sustainability, it is very hard to step away. IT must identify areas of innovation in enterprise operations, products, services and supply chains where IT can be used to drive significant increases in material and energy efficiency.”
Kristian Steenstrup, VP and Gartner Fellow said: “One of IT’s main roles in this new economy will be in the development of new technologies. This can range from technologies to manage the organisation’s entire carbon trading initiative to technologies for auditing and accounting for the organisation’s carbon footprint.”
About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the IT industry's largest and most-strategic conference, providing business leaders with a look at the future of IT. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are an important component of delegates’ annual planning efforts. They rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organisations can use IT to address business challenges. For more information, visit www.gartner.com/au/symposium
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), is the world's leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.
Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We're trusted as an objective resource and critical partner by more than 12,000 organizations in more than 100 countries—across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.
To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.