Information and Communication Technology - enabled Low Carbon Technologies : a new sector of the economy?
This article outlines the subsector of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry concerned with reducing the economy's environmental impact, dubbed ICT-enabled low carbon technologies (ICTeLCTs). The article is based on a study funded by United Kingdom (UK) Trade and Investment, a division of the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. ICTeLCTs can be segmented into specialist and generalist operators. Specialists focus on one or two ICT applications to monitor or reduce environmental issues, while generalists supply products and services enabling a firm or a private household to reduce the environmental impact of its activities. The subsector can be further segmented into green ICT, energy management, building management, carbon accounting, waste management, intelligent transport systems (ITSs), and water management. The main factors driving ICTeLCTs include legislation, voluntary environmental standards, corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, customer demand, and competitive market factors. Policy makers should continue to drive the growth of ICTeLCTs with the introduction and refinement of environmental legislation regulating energy use and markets.