Ottawa, November 14, 2023— Roundtable discussions conclude that action is needed to prioritize sustainability in the development, use, and disposal of digital technologies in Canada and along the global ICT supply chain.
Digitization is often seen as part of the solution in the fight against climate change and the pursuit of sustainability; however, as digitization proliferates across the economy, ICT manufacturing and use account for a growing share of global GHG emissions and ecological harms, such as water depletion, aquatic and terrestrial contamination, and land degradation. Only a few organizations are aware of the environmental impacts of ICT, and even fewer have adopted sustainable ICT practices to reduce such impacts.
For this first-of-its-kind policy brief, Advancing Environmentally Sustainable ICT in Canada, ICTC surveyed 500 Canadian professionals responsible for ICT procurement, operations management, and product and service development to benchmark the state of sustainability in Canada’s ICT ecosystem. Alongside this, ICTC conducted a series of key informant interviews with global sustainability experts, partnered with the Digital Governance Council to host a policy roundtable, and synthesized literature to identify best practices for advancing sustainable ICT. The brief explores the extent to which organizations are thinking about sustainability from an ICT perspective, how organizations are approaching sustainable ICT, and what challenges organizations face in advancing sustainable ICT.
Importantly, this policy brief also outlines the steps to advance environmentally sustainable ICT in Canada, such as:
“Cultivating awareness of ICT’s environmental impacts and embracing recycling initiatives isn’t just an ethical choice; it’s an economic imperative. As we stride toward a greener, more sustainable future, we’re also opening the door to resource efficiency, innovation, job creation, and economic growth in this space.” —Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO
“We are honoured to have contributed to this groundbreaking policy brief, which aims to identify the most effective practices for advancing sustainable ICT. One of our objectives here at the Digital Governance Council is to be member-focused; through the Sustainable IT Pledge, our members have committed to tackling these issues. By prioritizing the sustainable ICT ecosystem, we can ensure the long-term resilience and growth of Canada’s digital economy.” —Keith Jansa, CEO of the Digital Governance Council
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a neutral, not-for-profit national center of expertise with the mission of strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in the global economy. For over 30 years, and with a team of 110 experts, we have delivered forward-looking research, practical policy advice, and capacity-building solutions for individuals and businesses. The organization’s goal is to ensure that technology is utilized to drive economic growth and innovation and that Canada’s workforce remains competitive on a global scale.
The Digital Governance Council is a member-driven organization that acts as a cross-sector, neutral convener for Canada’s executive leaders to identify, prioritize, and act on digital governance opportunities and challenges. The Council leads an Executive Forum for council members, sets technology governance standards through the Digital Governance Standards Institute, and certifies the compliance of Canadian organizations in the management of the effective and efficient use of digital technologies. To learn more about the organization and its initiatives, visit www.dgc-cgn.org or contact [email protected].
To arrange an interview on this study or other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.
This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program.
A copy of the study can be accessed here.
A French-language press release of this report is here.
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