Sustainable ICT in Amsterdam

From 29 August to 1 September 2016, Amsterdam will host the fourth international ICT for Sustainability conference (ICT4S). The event brings together leading researchers in the field of ICT and decision-makers from industry and government. The goal is to pool knowledge about how ICT can contribute to sustainability. This year’s theme is “Smart and Sustainable”, and the conference features workshops, presentations and open sessions on topics such as the internet of things, big data for sustainability, smart sustainable cities and how to turn sustainability into a business model.

The first ICT4S conference was held in Zurich in 2013 and was an immediate success, with 50 scientific papers and about 300 participants. Subsequent editions were held in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Conference programme

The event takes place at the Amsterdam Business School (ABS) and the KIT (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen) and consists of two workshop days and two conference days. The workshops will address themes such as green software engineering, the smart grid, the energy and carbon footprint of the ICT sector and effective strategies for sustainable intervention.

Amsterdam: a sustainable city

For the organisers of ICT4S to choose Amsterdam as the location for their conference makes perfect sense. The city has a long and proud history of launching innovative sustainability initiatives, and in 2015 came fourth worldwide on the Sustainable Cities Index. The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is enjoying a rapid uptake in electric transportation, and many local companies are developing sustainable products that are influencing global business. Deloitte’s new corporate headquarters in Amsterdam, for example, was recently awarded the highest score ever by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the global assessor of sustainable buildings.

Digital developments in Amsterdam

The Amsterdam Area is also a renowned ICT hub. As one of the most densely cabled locations in Europe, the Amsterdam Science Park is presently home to more than 600 network hubs and is one of the most sustainable data centres worldwide. It also houses the Netherlands National Super Computer and internet exchanges such as AMS-IX, the largest data transport hub in the world, and NL-ix, and is capable of reaching 80 percent of customers in Europe within 50 milliseconds. The Science Park’s computing and communications credentials date back many decades, and it has developed important programming languages – including Python, which is used widely by Google, Amazon and other new media companies. A recent addition to the Science Park’s thriving IT community is the third Amsterdam-based data centre by US company Equinix.