Building a 21st century communications economy … with a little help from the ICT sector

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Building a 21st century communications economy … with a little help from the ICT sector

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On Tuesday June 28th, the Carbon Disclosure Project launched a paper on how advanced broadband will be the backbone of a high growth, low impact economy. The key point is that reliable and robust internet connections are essential if we are to unlock potential emissions savings of the ICT sector.


The paper makes the case that the most competitive economies of tomorrow will be those that see the resource constraints we face today as an opportunity to revolutionize the way they operate to generate increased value using fewer resources and help change the way that society lives, works and plays.

They highlight that ICT companies like Microsoft are demonstrating many attributes that will help drive the economy towards a low carbon, high growth vision. These companies produce the hardware, develop the applications and provide the services that enable us to create and communicate information of all kinds.

ICT generates greater economic value with fewer carbon emissions than many other sectors:

  • The ICT producing industries’ growth exceeded 11% 2004-2006 in the US compared to the average economy growth of 3.2%
  • CDP analysis shows that the ICT sector generates higher net income per metric ton of carbon than many other sectors which are more dependent on natural resources to generate value. For example, the ICT sector generates over $4000 per ton of carbon which is double that of the Consumer Staples sector and almost 3 times that of the Industrials sector
  • Most importantly ICT can help drive efficiencies and decrease carbon emissions across sectors. Smart 2020 showed that the sector could decrease emissions across sectors by 15%.

The paper ends by painting a picture of how these technologies can help change what we buy, how we learn, work and receive healthcare so that we can emit fewer emissions while improving quality of life.

As CDP’s Executive Chairman, Paul Dickinson says;

‘We have the technologies and economic drivers to catalyze this change at our fingertips. Future corporate and societal change will come from the ICT sector rather than the old industries…The critical challenge for the 21st Century is to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring we don’t reduce the standards of living citizens and leaders have worked so hard to attain’

I invite you to download the paper and read it for yourself….

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