SHADE Newsletter 11th January 2024

Welcome to the latest edition of the SHADE newsletter! 

SHADE is a research hub with a mission to explore issues at the intersection of digital technologies/AI, health and the environment. It is guided by a fundamental question: How should the balance between AI/digital enabled health and planetary health be struck in different areas of the world, and what should be the guiding principles?

The SHADE newsletter comes out every two weeks, bringing you a selection of the latest news, upcoming events, academic publications and podcasts in the SHADE space.

We have something for everyone in this first edition of 2024. We are highlighting tools - tools in practice, tools in development and proposed tools. The selection illustrates different perspectives on how to tackle the environmental impacts of digital technologies and AI, as well as the different scenarios tools are designed for. We also look at the latest on chips and mining, hear from Big Tech and Big Pharma, delve into dark data, bring back blockchain and much, much more.

We hope you enjoy it!

Please tell us what you like, what you don’t like and what you think is missing at [email protected]   

Highlight on Tools

  • Check out the Data Carbon Ladder from Loughborough University - and learn about Dark Data (more on this in “what we’re reading” below).

  • Interested in a central repository of environmental assessments of health systems, hospitals, surgical procedures, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals from around the world? Check out the HealthcareLCA database.

  • The Green Software Foundation (GSF) are powering ahead with their Impact Framework (IF) tool: The vision for this is comprehensive and consistent measurement of the environmental impact of software - whether carbon emissions, water or land usage or other chemical impacts. Asim Hussain from the GSF talks us through IF, which is currently in development, and the upcoming hackathon to take it forward. Asim talks about the hackathon first (the dates have changed!), and IF itself about 12 minutes in. He touches on IF’s timeline (version 1.0 by COP29), and his hopes for the transparency it will bring, about 1 hour in. There’s more on the hackathon in “Events” below - you don’t have to be technical to take part.

  • Soumyendu Sarkar from Hewlett Packard presents a paper on the Data Centre Carbon Footprint Reduction (DC-CFR) framework that won best ML innovation at Climate Change AI’s “Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning” workshop at NeurIPS 2023.

  • A paper presented at the October 2023 Related Systems Thinking and Design Symposium (RSD12) brings another perspective on tools. It highlights the limitations of ICT carbon calculators and explores a systemic design inspired responsible innovation framework for addressing ICT carbon emissions.


What we’re listening to

What we’re reading


Opportunities (and add in subscription text)

  • Call for submissions to a Focus Collection on Environmental Sustainability and Health Care in the journal Environmental Research: Health. The submission window will close on 15 September 2024. Early submissions are welcome and encouraged, will be reviewed without delay, and published when ready on an incremental basis.

We hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. If it has been forwarded to you, and you would like to receive future editions, you can subscribe here.