NRI Papers
No.141 April 1 , 2009
  Using the Ubiquitous Network to Achieve a Sustainable Society  
Takao SHIINO
   In recent years, more and more importance has been given to the realization of a "sustainable society," which continues to grow while protecting the threatened global environment. The author believes that the ubiquitous network can contribute to providing many of the solutions to this problem.
   Nomura Research Institute (NRI) has participated in the Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe), an international organization for promoting electronic commerce, and acts as leader in one of its issue groups, the Ubiquitous Network Society Issue Group. This issue group collected and analyzed cases in which the ubiquitous network contributes to the control of climate change.
   As the characteristics of the ubiquitous network, it has become evident that it offers two functions that can be introduced relatively easily and that can promise the effects from a short-term perspective because there is no need to fundamentally change social mechanisms. The ubiquitous network also offers two functions that are introduced and that bring about effects from a mid-term perspective because there is a need for changes in social mechanisms. Furthermore, it has become clear that the ubiquitous network also offers the function of the "creation of new value" that changes people's mindsets and reforms the sense of values held by society over the long term.
   Attempts to quantify the environmental contribution of the ubiquitous network to society have been started by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan.
   To improve Japan's global standing, it is essential for the country to promote the development and introduction of energy-efficient solutions and to become one of the world's leading low-carbon societies (societies that minimize their CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, while still achieving economic growth). To this end, the respective roles must be steadfastly fulfilled by industry, the government and consumers in operating a cycle of investment, development, introduction and improvement. Only in this way, can we hope to see the realization of a sustainable society.
Contents
I The Ubiquitous Network and Global Environmental Issues
II Case Studies on "Green by IT" III Quantifying "Green by IT"
III Quantifying "Green by IT"
IV Suggestions for Future Efforts

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