Our Global Vision
GreenTouch is a consortium of leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, academic and non-governmental research experts dedicated to fundamentally transforming communications and data networks, including the Internet, and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of ICT devices, platforms and networks.
By 2015, our goal is to deliver the architecture, specifications and technologies – and demonstrate key components – needed to increase network energy efficiency by a factor of 1000 compared to 2010 levels. We'll accomplish this by designing fundamentally new network architectures and creating the enabling technologies on which they are based.
In reaching this goal, GreenTouch members and the global community will benefit from:
- A reinvention of today’s telecommunications networks
- A sustainable future for data networking and the Internet
- Unprecedented collaboration with leading experts from around the world
- Participation in fundamental research in exciting new areas
- Access to network models and studies examining key energy related issues
- New information on network power consumption, traffic growth, and energy trends
Two factors motivated the formation of GreenTouch in early 2010. First, energy consumption in ICT networks is increasing in part due to exponential network growth, especially with the explosion of wireless data traffic. Network growth is outpacing equipment efficiency, which is slowing as limits to historical capacity and scaling laws loom. This trend could adversely affect the Internet and the broad energy efficiency benefits that ICT networks and associated smart technologies enable. The second motivation is the urgent need to meet the global challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Every industry must play its part and ICT, at the forefront of technology, can be a leader here.
To dramatically reduce the energy consumption of today’s ICT networks, a radical new approach was needed. Meeting the challenge depends on collaborative efforts that take advantage of innovation and expertise from around the world. GreenTouch brings together this expertise in a consortium whose members -- leading industry enterprises, entrepreneurs, and researchers from across the ICT community -- work in concert to invent the technologies that can achieve sustainable networks in the decades to come.
GreenTouch has also been stimulated by recent research that identifies a gap between rapid network growth rates today and historical equipment efficiency improvements -- a gap that promises to increase over the decades ahead. Technologies in use today, even considering best-case projected energy efficiency improvements, are not expected to be sufficient to check the rate of energy consumption over the long term. At the same time, key technology energy limits associated with existing underlying components of ICT networks (optical, wireless, electronics, routing, architecture, etc.) are still many orders of magnitude below current operating levels.
The vision of GreenTouch is to create ICT networks and technologies that enable a sustainable Internet, and to serve as an open, collaborative platform that allows our members to make best use of their expertise in order to deliver a fundamental re-design of networks – one that dramatically improves their energy efficiency and reduces their overall carbon footprint – for the benefit of our members, the ICT sector, and the entire world. Everyone who is interested in our goal is invited to join and help it become reality.