Between 22 and 24 April, Porto hosted the SMARTGREENS international conference on smart cities and green ICT systems. The event gathered researchers, developers, companies and projects representatives interested in green ICT solutions, and sustainable energy-aware systems and technologies for smart cities.
Green Smart Cities under the spotlight
During the presentation of the ICTFOOTPRINT.eu project, three EUROCITIES members, signatories of the Green Digital Charter, were showcased to illustrate how city administrations can promote the development of a market for energy-efficient information technologies (IT) and networks.
“Smart cities are about using digital solutions to face today’s problems. Smarter cities have to think about the future. To be really sustainable, cities need to consider the environmental impact of the technologies they use.”
- Rebecca Portail, Green Digital Charter
Higher standards for the green procurement of ICT products introduced in 2012 in Malmö are estimated to save the city over €500,000 a year. Thanks to this ‘green purchasing policy’, Malmö has reached the impressive level of 98% of environmentally-labelled ICT equipment.
Linköping, another Swedish city, has reported no increase in total energy consumption despite the growth in the number of computers, smartphones, projectors, and networked equipment used.
Nantes is the perfect example of a city that promotes a green IT ecosystem. Nantes has created a Green Code Lab, where demos of green IT projects are organised, and an ecodesign certificate for energy-efficient websites developped.
Case studies in research papers cite two other EUROCITIES members as positive examples:
• Malmo’s district Bo01 analyses and tests the ‘U-ZED’ (Urban-Zero Energy Districts) methodological assessment tool developed by the University of Mons
• Launched in January 2016 by Turin, the Torino Living Lab enables local private organisations and startups to test the most promising smart city solutions in a real-life environment
What tools and services for a sustainable ICT sector?
Lack of knowledge and expertise, lack of time, and low awareness of the benefits are the most common reasons why organisations fail to adopt sustainable ICT practices.
A stand at the Porto conference acquainted visitors with the ICTFOOTPRINT.eu project’s Self-Assessment Tool for Services (SAT-S). Another tool targeting organisations (SAT-O) is still in its development phase.