Statement by Ryan Heath on Digital Agenda - global tech sector measures its carbon footprint
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 18 March 2013, Ryan Heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda, gave a statement to announce the results of a study released by the European Commission which is working with 27 of the world's leading tech companies and associations to measure their carbon footprint arising from the production, transport and sales of ICT goods, networks and services. According to the study published on the same day, 10 measurement tools and standards pilot-tested by the organisations are comparable. The aim is to have a common measurement framework in order to get a clearer picture, and eventually a reduction, of CO2 emissions.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission, in Brussels
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda, (in ENGLISH): Today the European Commission has released the results of a study where we have been able to work with 27 of the world's largest technology companies to create methodologies that allow those companies to measure their carbon footprint. It is a very important step forward; it lets the entire global tech sector have a way to compare itself from company to company and for consumers to be able to compare companies to other companies so you can compare oranges to oranges rather than a situation of trying to compare 2 different fruits when understanding how a company is doing with its green efforts.
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath (in ENGLISH): The ICT sector has some of the fastest growing carbon emission of any sector alongside aviation for example so ICT already represents 8% to 10% of the electricity that is used in the EU and around about 4% of the total of the carbon emissions so anything that we can do to measure that, to be more transparent about that and encourage companies to reduce their carbon footprints is really quite important in terms of meeting our carbon targets and moving to a greener economy. What we are trying to say today is that by working with companies from around the world whether it's Huawei in China, it's one of the largest European companies like Alcatel-Lucent, some of the larger American companies like Cisco. We have brought 27 of those companies together and they have seen the benefit in the process of making sure that they are being more responsible as people who consume a lot of carbon.It is important that people understand that every time you use a search engine, there is a small carbon footprint that comes from that. It is not just about what product you buy but how those products get to you and how they are sold to you; all of that has an impact on the environment and so we have looked at the entirety of the carbon footprint of those processes and we have come up with new ways to measure that and make sure that everyone is working together to reduce our impact on the climate.
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath (in ENGLISH): Today's news is only the first step in a much longer journey; we are not saying that these news and methodology will automatically bring down the impact that tech companies have on the environment but transparency is a really important first step because it empowers citizens, consumers, other businesses to know exactly what they are buying and to make greener choices and that is what we are trying to encourage: A situation where people compete with each other to be greener but still allowing us to gain all of the benefits from digital technology that we have seen in recent years.