Green TouchTM initiative targets 1000-fold improvement in energy efficiency by transforming Internet and communications networks

Green Infrastructure - Green TouchTM initiative targets 1000-fold improvement in energy efficiency by transforming Internet and communications networksCommunications Turns Totally Green

Green TouchTM initiative targets 1000-fold improvement in energy efficiency by transforming Internet and communications networks

London, January 11, 2010 - The world took a big step closer today to a green and more sustainable communications future with the launch of Green TouchTM, a global consortium organized by Bell Labs whose goal is to create the technologies needed to make communications networks 1000 times more energy efficient than they are today.

A thousand-fold reduction is roughly equivalent to being able to power the world’s communications networks, including the Internet, for three years using the same amount of energy that it currently takes to run them for a single day.

Today’s Green Touch press conference will be available via a video webcast at 2:30 p.m. GMT (3:30 p.m. CET/9:30 a.m. ET) through the following this link.

Green Touch brings together leaders in industry, academia and government labs to invent and deliver radical new approaches to energy efficiency that will be at the heart of sustainable networks in the decades to come. With its launch, the consortium also has issued an open invitation to all members of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) community to join forces in reaching this ambitious target.

“Truly global challenges have always been best addressed by bringing together the brightest minds in an unconstrained, creative environment. This was what we used when putting a man on the moon and is the same approach we need to implement to address the global climate crisis. The Green Touch initiative is an example of such a response - bringing together scientists and technologists from around the world and from many different disciplines in an environment of open innovation to attack the problem from many different directions,” said Dr. Steven Chu, US Secretary of Energy.

“The ICT sector is perfectly placed to bring its innovative and technological forces to bear in the low carbon transition as well as in curbing its own carbon footprint. The Green Touch Initiative shows how business can play its part in delivering the low carbon society we are working to achieve. With Government creating an environment in which innovation can flourish, we welcome industry coming together with academia to create the research, technology and solutions necessary to reduce carbon emissions,” said Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, UK.

“Industry has to play a major role in the drive to increasing global energy efficiency. This is both a matter of environmental responsibility and competitiveness. We regularly endorse such projects in our “pole de compétitivité” (competiveness cluster) policy and the Eureka clusters. This is a particularly crucial area of focus because of increasing usage of ICT and the Internet. The world-wide Green Touch consortium will open the way to generating major technological breakthroughs. France supports this project, which is open to all and in which two major French labs are founding members,” said Christian Estrosi, Minister for Industry, France.

“Climate change is an enormous and immediate challenge that needs to be address globally and with bold actions. It is only through harnessing the best minds around the world, regardless of their mother companies, industry, or nationality, that we will make the difference we need to. The Green Touch consortium, with its open innovation model that harnesses the leading minds across the globe and includes experts from every part of ICT, is the model for the sort of radical initiatives that we need to address the huge challenge of global warming,” said Jong-Soo Yoon, Director General, Ministry of Environment, South Korea.

“The Portuguese Government has been taking measures to promote the production of energy by clean technologies. The Green Touch initiative calls our attention to the importance of the network and collaboration between different institutions when we face global challenges as sustainable development. I encourage the participants of this initiative to bring good solutions to promote the energy efficiency of communication networks,” said Paulo Campos, Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications, Portugal.

“Over the next decade billions more people will upload and share video, images and information over public and private networks as we communicate with each other in new, rich ways. We also expect ICT usage to dramatically increase as other industries use networks to reduce their own carbon footprints. This naturally leads to an exponential growth in ICT energy consumption which we, as an industry, have to jointly address. This consortium is unique in looking way beyond making incremental efficiency improvements and tapping into innovation and expertise from around the globe to achieve fundamental breakthroughs in ICT carbon emissions reduction,” Gee Rittenhouse, vice president of research at Bell Labs and consortium lead.

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