The DigiGreen podcasts: Digital transformation and sustainability

A new series of podcasts explores the synergies between digitalisation, climate change and energy transition.

September 16, 2021

Digitalisation is an ever-increasing part of our lives, driving change and development at speeds hitherto unimaginable. In a new series of podcasts, we look at how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can help drive climate action and sustainable development.

Listen to the first episode here.

While ICTs could help address climate concerns and enable the much-needed shift toward a circular economy, new technology also contributes to global carbon emissions and generates waste during its production, usage and obsolescence phases.

So, how do we ensure sustainable ICT development?

The new podcasts are hosted by Xiao Wang, who has focused her work at UNEP DTU Partnership on Green ICT and Energy Efficient Datacentres.

“Digitalisation is here and now. It’s become central to the economy and our lives,” she says. “Meanwhile, climate change is affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting sustainable growth and causing suffering.”

On the launch of the new series, she adds: “The DigiGreen series aims to bring digital transformation and sustainable development together, through interviews with key opinion leaders from both the public and private sectors. If you are curious to know more about a sustainable and green digital transformation, come along for the adventure!”

The DigiGreen series is produced by the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency as part of Scaling up Energy Efficiency podcasts.

First episode out now

The first episode of the DigiGreen podcast, Sustainable ICT development and the role of ITU, looks at carbon reduction opportunities in the data centre industry, particularly through innovative cooling technologies.

Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), joins the podcast to talk about how digitalisation should address energy and environmental concerns and help lay out a green recovery and low-carbon development path.

ITU, as the United Nations specialized agency for ICTs, has long rallied its member states, corporate and civil society members in the radiocommunication, standardization and development sectors, and other partners around the importance of ICTs in combating climate change and sustainable digital transformation.

The episode highlights the benefits of liquid cooling, ITU standards, the role of the private sector and governments, and how energy efficient datacentres can help meet climate goals – including Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.

“Liquid cooling can be a very innovative, energy efficient technology,” says Johnson in this first episode. “It could decrease data-centre-cooling energy demand, reduce the carbon footprint for the sector; and of course – because water now is becoming a scarce resource itself – would be far more efficient than using water.”

In coming episodes, the DigiGreen podcast will continue to explore the synergies between digitalisation, climate change and the energy transition.