GreenTouch, a consortium of leading information and communication technology, academic and non-government experts working on reducing the carbon footprint IT, had a very good year in 2012.
Perhaps the signal achievement of the consortium in 2012 was the demonstrated breakthrough in Bit-Interleaved Passive Optical Network (Bi-PON) technology that dramatically improves energy efficiency in fiber to the home (FTTH) networks. When deployed, the new Bi-PON technology will enable a power reduction of 30 times over current technologies while improving performance and reducing cost, according to the consortium.
“ FTTH is expected to nearly double over the next five years, reaching 142 million subscribers worldwide by 2016, according to ABI Research,” noted GreenTouch in its news release on the subject. “With Bi-PON instead of the current optical technology in use, the impact on the carbon footprint is that of taking half a million cars from the roads.”
GreenTouch also released its initial Strategic Research Areas and Project Portfolio document in 2012. It highlights the major research activities and projects and brings attention to promising critical research areas that require further in-depth investigation, according to a blog post by the consortium’s chairman and the VP of global operations for Bell Labs (News - Alert), Thierry Van Landegem.
The document is a precursor to a comprehensive GreenTouch roadmap that will comprise a network reference architecture, the portfolio of research projects and activities, the end-to-end network architecture and a progress measurement towards improving the network energy efficiency by a factor 1000 compared to 2010, according to Van Landegem.
Further, this year GreenTouch also expanded its membership and created a Services, Policies and Standards working group.
In 2012, GreenTouch grew to more than 60 member organizations with more than 350 individual scientists, engineers and researchers from 23 countries.
Through the Services, Policies and Standards working group, “GreenTouch is able to bring more value to its members as they start to seek commercial avenues in addition to the intellectual and knowledge creation from the consortium’s research activities,” noted Van Landegem. It proves the crucial link between research and the marketplace.
It continued to expand its collaborations and partnerships with other organizations as well, such as the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI),the World Economic Forum and the Climate Group.
“These collaborations with key global players further enhance our position as thought leader and put the consortium in the mainstream green corridor,” noted Van Landegem.
“For example, we were one of the key contributors to the newly published SMARTer2020 report by GeSI which shows the important role ICT can play in reducing carbon footprint,” he wrote. In fact as Katrina Destree Cochran, Director Stakeholder Engagement & Sustainability and Tom Okrasinski, Senior Manager, Bell Labs CTO Environmental Engineering, wrote in their blog, the GeSI report is an important document for policy makers to use as guide for implementing change.
The good news for all of us in looking back at 2012 is that it was a pretty good year for leveraging ICT for going Green, and GreenTouch is off to a nice start.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein