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         12 September 2002

On 19-20 September 2002, the United Nations University (UNU) will host an International Symposium on Information Technology and the Environment. The symposium will be held in the U Thant International Conference Hall, UN House, Tokyo.

The information technology (IT) revolution has significant impacts for environmental issues. Adoption of IT is inducing changes in business practices, lifestyles and economic growth - shifts which affect the energy intensity of economies and the structure of environmental problems. For instance, IT-enabled business models such as e-commerce and telework change how goods are transported and the ways in which people spend their work and leisure time. This, in turn, affects energy use in the transportation and building sectors. There are also increasingly significant environmental impacts associated with the production, use and disposal of IT equipment such as personal computers. On the other hand, IT can be used as a tool to enhance our response to environmental problems.

Understanding the connections between IT and environment is key for mapping out a course towards a sustainable society. The UNU international symposium will be a forum for communication of knowledge about and debate on this new issue. Individual sessions will focus on IT penetration and its impacts, effects of IT on environment and economy, environmental impacts of production and use of IT hardware, IT business models and the environment, and activities in industry. The symposium will close with a panel discussion.

Presenters will include representatives from academia (Carnegie Mellon University, Science University of Tokyo, UNU, University of California-Berkeley, University of Tokyo and others), businesses (AT&T, Fujitsu, NEC, NTT, Sony and Ricoh) and other institutions.

The event is free and open to the public; advance registration is requested. Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. Simultaneous translation of English and Japanese will be provided.
(Click here for the Programme - in PDF file)

For registration or more information, please contact Eric Williams (tel: 03-5467-1352, fax: 03-3406-7346, e-mail: Eric Williams), in Japanese or English.

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For other inquiries, please contact:
UNU Public Affairs Section,
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




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