Carbon-centric computing - IT solutions for climate change: a report prepared by the University of Wollongong Working Group on the Carbon-Centric Computing Initiative

IT has a role to play in the current debate on climate change. The current discourse on IT and climate change views IT in a negative light, as a polluter. What remains unrecognised is the critical role of IT as a source of solutions to the climate change problem. We live in a massive, inter-connected Planet Earth Supply Chain. IT provides a range of tools to model, manage and optimise this supply chain.The University of Wollongong Carbon-Centric Computing Initiative (CCCI) seeks to seed a program of research that addresses the climate change problem with a range of computing technologies including (but not limited to): optimisation technologies, supply chain management technologies, business process management/process improvement technologies, grid computing (e.g., utility grid) and virtualisation technologies, ICT-enabled conferencing and collaboration technologies as well as ICT for knowledge sharing and network-centric advocacy.The contours of this new and exciting space for research and industry development are described in this report. The report provides insights into a set of representative points within this new space. It describes how existing web infrastructure could be leveraged to devise the optimising web a massive, globally inter-connected network of optimisers helping support decisions that would reduce the global carbon footprint. It describes how computer simulation models can provide the basis for sustainable manufacturing and environmental management in the enterprise. It describes how IT based techniques can help support supply chain optimisation audits to determine if and how value might be best derived from the judicious use of optimisation technology. It describes the critical role ICT-enabled collaboration technologies can play in reducing the carbon footprint. It also addresses the key role ICT-based knowledge sharing and network-centric advocacy can play in obtaining broader social engagement in this debate. The report addresses the policy dimension to these issues and the need for an industry-academia consortium to drive such an agenda forward.The DSL: The Decision Systems Lab has engaged in cutting-edge research in the areas of industrial optimisation, business process management, service-oriented computing, software engineering and the applications of artificial intelligence technology for over a decade. It prides itself in being able to effectively span the spectrum from basic to applied research, and has generated a range of high-impact insights and industry applications.ATUL: As the Activity Theory Usability Laboratory, ATUL was opened in 2001. Able to support both research and practice, ATUL was then equipped to conduct holistic and realistic usability evaluations of computer applications and websites. Since its opening ATUL has expanded to acquire an exciting range of tools in innovative areas of business analysis and training: team-building, group decision support, systems modeling, content analysis among these. Copyright 2009 Aditya Ghose, Helen Hasan and Trevor Spedding. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.