Green ICT - sustainability from ICT
Green ICT is about the use of ICT for environmental sustainability. It thus includes not only improving environmental efficiency of ICT itself, but also the use of ICT to make other industries and business domains more sustainable. The high level goal of green ICT is to eventually decouple the use of natural resources from economic growth. Achieving this requires new, bold ideas and concepts that generate major systemic, structural and behavioural changes in society. Some general principles of the new frugal society are: integrated activities - “1 joule, two jobs”, waste minimisation and utilisation -“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and physical resource substitution - “Consumption of products as bits instead of atoms”.
The largest potential for ICT to improve environmental efficiency can be found in applying ICT in other business domains rather than in ICT itself, because the ICT sector only accounts for a few percentages of the total energy consumption. On the other hand, the environmental footprint of the ICT sector is growing the most rapidly, so it cannot be neglected. Rather, the ICT sector should lead the way in taking new solutions into practice. The focus on green ICT is more than just the climate change and low carbon economy, but topics like efficient use of natural resources, reductions of hazardous substances (ROHS), and conservation of biodiversity should also be considered.
VTT’s scientific and technological focus on green ICT
VTT focuses on four topics that present our view of the most relevant in terms of both the impact on environmental sustainability and application opportunities for ICT.
Environmentally sustainable consumption deals with generation of tools and
incentives for consumers to change their behaviour and to enable making
environmentally sustainable decisions in their daily life.
Energy efficient buildings involve development of new smart metering and smart
grid enabled digital services for diverse stakeholders, from energy companies
Life-cycle efficient production demands more extensive and systemic ways for
utilising ICT in enabling new, more ecological, production paradigms for
making products and services.
Optimised and adaptive networks aim to produce new intelligent network
operations and management solutions for optimising diverse networks in
VTT’s key offering
Sensors and sensor networks
VTT develops novel sensor and sensor network hardware and software for a variety of applications. We have a long experience on sensor, sensor network and embedded device R&D, especially regarding wireless sensing. Our measurement solutions provide information for improving, e.g., energy efficiency and waste management.
VTT provides advanced technology for the networks of the future. Our focal topics cover converging networks, network management, radio systems, and computing platforms. Our technologies and competences are key enablers of, for example, smart electricity grid management, intelligent home solutions and remote collaboration.
Modelling, simulation and analysis
VTT is developing models, simulations, and analysis for better understanding, control, productivity and sustainability of complex systems. Our R&D is concentrating on industrial automation and system simulation, data interpretation and information management. Examples of the solutions that we provide are product life-cycle assessment, energy consumption monitoring services, and transportation optimisation.
VTT offers solutions for the complete lifecycle of software intensive systems development and run-time optimisation. Our R&D covers the software engineering methods, processes, tools and architectures, including product and service proof-of-concepts for, e.g., mobile and cloud computing solutions. We can contribute to, e.g., life-cycle efficient software production, hardware substitution, and optimised software intensive systems.
User interaction and user-centered design
VTT is taking advantage of the emerging user interaction and user-centered design technologies. We do R&D on context adaptive user interaction, virtual and augmented reality, information visualisation and human-centred design of digital services. Our technologies enable, e.g., sustainability services for consumers, teleconferencing solutions and virtual prototypes.