“Whatever the outcome of the current debate, the technology industry will play a critical role in the transition to a low carbon economy and we welcome this renewed interest in Federal Parliament,” Mr Birks said.
“Developing environmental sustainability has been a long-term priority for AIIA and the Australian Information and Communication Technology industry. The ICT industry takes management of its own carbon emissions very seriously and it is an area in which we aim to lead by example. One of our three councils is focused on Environment and Sustainability, chaired by Bob Hayward the CTO for CSC Australia.”
Bob Hayward stated that “regardless of the actual mechanisms we use to achieve any transition to a low carbon economy, there is no doubt that the ICT industry has a leading role to play. In some other countries around the world we see acknowledgment of this fact through such mechanisms as the establishment of GreenIT Advisory Offices and integrating sustainable ICT into economic stimulus programs. This shows that global leaders are realising the importance of ICT in driving economic growth while reducing emissions, cutting waste and controlling the spiralling costs of spending on energy.”
Mr Birks also said that there are immediate opportunities for ICT to make a powerful contribution to reducing emissions across all areas of the economy – from households to business and government.
“Better management of resources through smarter systems is available today through current technologies. We need to think about how ICT can drive the process changes we aim to see as a country in order to reduce energy consumption, avoid waste and make more efficient use of our natural resources.”
Mr Birks said that developing more sustainable industries and new ways of driving productivity growth were key elements of the need to drive stronger digital economy outcomes in Australia. As broadband infrastructure becomes more widespread, these opportunities are only getting stronger.
“A number of studies demonstrate substantial economic benefits on offer for businesses and economies through the use of ICT to improve sustainability, from areas as diverse as supply chain management, manufacturing and retailing.”
“Technology will also be central to the development of robust measurement, reporting and monitoring of carbon use and abatement strategies,” said Mr Birks.
Realising these benefits will require strong leadership and swift action to align the competing interests of government, industry and society. A major factor in achieving this goal will be to influence behavioural change through the introduction of more sustainable infrastructure developments and appropriate government policy, by way of incentive schemes and regulation.