Digital Technology: Environmental Saint or Sinner?
Professor Chris Preist, University of Bristol
Digital technology is responsible for substantial environmental impacts globally. It has roughly the same carbon footprint as aviation, and is one of the most widespread sources of hazardous substances in waste streams. Furthermore, its emissions are growing currently. However, it has also been argued that digital technology can play a key role in the transition to a low carbon society. Progressive IT companies are making significant efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their activities, and searching for new ways of supporting lower impact ways of living.
In this talk, I will look at the big picture and arguments from both sides. I will also present more detail on how to understand and mitigate the environmental impacts of digital services such as websites, Google search, Facebook, YouTube or BBC iPlayer. Where in the system are the ‘hotspots’ and what can we do to tackle them? What are the longer term trends in such patterns? What can service designers - both architectural and interaction designers - do to mitigate these effects?
Chris Preist is Professor in Sustainability and Computer Systems at the University of Bristol. He leads a team of researchers who combine the disciplines of Industrial Ecology and Computer Science. His research partners include the BBC, Guardian News and Media, the Environment Agency, the Carbon Disclosure Project and EDF Energy.
The seminar will take place in room C21, in the Pariser Building on Sackville Street- number 12 on the map here http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/maps/interactive-map/?id=9
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