I recently came across an interesting report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on measuring the impacts of information and communications technologies (ICTs). Generally the report is quite thorough, taking into account a more complex than usual view of ICT impacts, represented as follows:
While the authors do not consider the environmental impacts of ICTs in the report (which is a pervasive oversight in discussion of the impacts of ICTs), they do acknowledge that they exist:
“Note that while it is not covered in this paper, the environment is also affected by ICT, with direct environmental impacts arising from events such as poor disposal of PCs and the role of ICT in modeling the impacts of climate change.”
It would be great to see an analogously detailed analysis of the environmental impacts of ICTs as the OECD provides for social and economic aspects. Download a PDF of the OECD full report, MEASURING THE IMPACTS OF ICT USING OFFICIAL STATISTICS (2007), here.