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  • Writer's picturePARLIAMENT NEWS

Navigating the Future of Sustainability - A Glimpse into the Parliamentary Sustainability Summit

London 13 Nov 2023

In a remarkable display of intellectual prowess and passionate commitment to the cause of sustainability, Rebeca Riofrio, Chairwoman for the Parliamentary Society, attended the Sustainability Summit together with Elvijs Plugis of Grozeo, Marienie Morazzani of MM ArtConsults, and Juliet Herrera of The Reclaimey. The Sustainability Summit was a gathering of industry leaders and visionaries at the forefront of addressing pressing environmental concerns. This summit served as a platform for engaging discussions on various sustainability issues, with a particular emphasis on the often-overlooked facet of fashion sustainability, despite the predominant focus on AI sustainability and related domains.

Dean Rusell MP at the Parliamentary Sustainability Summit

The panel, led by Steven George Hilley from Centropy, featured speakers including Dean Russell MP, Andrew Howard of Schroders, Alan Hudd of Alchemie Technology Ltd, Tom Dunning of Ad Signal, John Gleeson of Storj, and Peter Mildon of VivaCity. These thought leaders brought their invaluable insights and perspectives to the forefront of the sustainability discourse, shedding light on the pivotal role that different sectors play in our collective journey towards a greener and more sustainable future.

While the summit primarily concentrated on the sustainability of artificial intelligence and its far-reaching implications, Rebeca Riofrio's passionate interest in fashion sustainability shone like a beacon of hope amidst the tech-driven discussions. Her unwavering commitment to advocating for a more sustainable fashion industry resonated deeply with attendees, serving as a reminder that sustainability encompasses a wide spectrum of areas, including the clothes we wear.

The pressing concern of sustainability, as echoed by industry leaders, reverberated throughout the event. The intersection of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence has sparked significant apprehension regarding the environmental ramifications of modern computational practices. The carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions associated with data and AI have become increasingly alarming issues.

Elvijs Plugis at theParliamentary Sustainability Summit

In an era where the demand for digital transformation has surged, exacerbated by the global pandemic, data and AI deployment have witnessed exponential growth. Shockingly, the carbon footprint of the cloud infrastructure now surpasses that of the entire airline industry. It is an alarming statistic that serves as a stark reminder of the ecological consequences of our digital age.

A single data center, a seemingly innocuous entity in the world of technology, is revealed to consume electricity equivalent to that of 50,000 homes, thereby underscoring the dire need for sustainable practices in the IT sector. Equally concerning is the monumental energy consumption required to train AI models. The shocking revelation that a single AI model's training can result in the emission of more than 626,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent — nearly five times the lifetime emissions of an average American car — underscores the urgency of addressing AI sustainability.

Our presence at the parliamentary summit serves as a testament to the multifaceted nature of sustainability and the need to address diverse sectors in our pursuit of a more environmentally responsible world. As the world grapples with the intricate challenges posed by AI sustainability, we must not forget that sustainability, in all its forms, is our collective responsibility.


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