Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
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clean-IT Community Conference

30. März 2022

The clean-IT Community Conference is an international platform for the exchange of ideas to make the digital world more sustainable. High-level representatives of the EU Commission and the German federal government engage in a dialogue with stakeholders of industry, academia and NGOs to discuss what needs to be done to reduce the carbon footprint of digitalization.

 

clean-IT Community Conference 2022

Date: March 30, 2022

Location: Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), Potsdam

Language: German/English (simultaneous translation)

 

More information will follow soon.

Digital technologies are indispensable to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and reducing carbon emissions on a large scale in many sectors. Yet, digital systems themselves have an immense energy requirement for their countless devices, data centers, applications and global networks. Already today, the carbon footprint of digitalization is twice as high as the global air traffic. Current applications of innovative IT-Systems, such as AI and Blockchain are very energy-intensive. Training a state-of-the-art AI model can emit as much CO2 as 300 round-trip flights from NYC to San Francisco. Bitcoin alone produces approximately the same amount of carbon emissions as entire countries, such as Jordan.

However, it would not be wise to reduce the use of digital systems, since they are the key to decarbonizing manufacturing, agriculture and the energy sector. Governments, international organizations, research institutions and companies should rather engage in a discussion of how to ensure that the development and use of digital systems is more resource- and energy-efficient. Research at HPI and its partners shows that with little effort, digital tools can be developed in an energy-efficient manner and reduce energy consumption by many magnitudes. To scale-up such efforts, awareness of the carbon footprint of digital systems and software needs to be raised and research as well as application processes for energy-efficent IT systems need to be supported. Therefore, the Hasso-Plattner-Institute for Digital Engineering has founded the clean-IT initiative.