Information and communiction technologies (ICTs), as a crosscutting evolving technology, can contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This opinion is not only voiced by business, but also expressed in specific MDG targets as well as from a range of stakeholders, e.g. NGOs, intergovernmental organisations and financial institutions. However, ICT implications are not only beneficial, a range of stakeholders raises critical issues. Quantified information on ICT contribution to the MDGs available today on both micro and macro level does not meet the expectations. Business actors thus need solid and balanced sustainability information to accurately get the implications of ICT and to promote and assess their voluntary activities.
In this context the project "A Comprehensive Approach for Assessing Risks and Opportunities of the ICT sector and ICT applications" addressed the contributions of the ICT sector to the achievement of the MDGs. The project's core objective has been to develop a discussion paper on the assessment of risks and opportunities of ICT. The scope of the paper is to raise awareness for a balanced approach of sustainability information (regarding the contribution to the MDGs, at micro and macro level, risks and opportunities) and to provide best practice examples for a comprehensive approach in the ICT sector. Therefore, research questions have been addressed such as: How can ICT contributions to the MDGs be quantified? What are the demands on sustainability information for the ICT sector? What are the business implications from this?