Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
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Implementing the two codes of conduct will significantly reduce the EU's electricity consumption and could save € 4.5 billion per year© Martin Simonis

Major ICT companies join JRC initiative for energy efficiency


Today in Brussels at the "ICT 2010-Digitally Driven" event, 16 more ICT firms have agreed to reduce the electricity consumption of their broadband equipment and data centres. The JRC's Institute for Energy (IE) develops and manages voluntary codes of conduct for ICT companies that can reduce their energy consumption, in many cases by as much as 50%.

Information & communication technology (ICT) equipment and services consume over 8% of electrical power in the EU and produce about 4% of its CO2 emissions. These figures could double by 2020. Although a voluntary measure, 36 of Europe's biggest ICT companies already apply the codes of conduct.

Broadband equipment accounts for around 15% of the ICT sector's overall energy consumption, or about 47 TWh in 2010 in the EU. Ten companies (both telecom operators and manufacturers) have already signed this code of conduct, covering about 25 million broadband lines in the EU (27%). With ten new companies signing up today, the coverage will raise to 65 million in the EU (72%) plus 10 million more in Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

Data centres account roughly for 18 % of the ICT sector's energy consumption and they are expected to grow faster than any other ICT technology. Across Europe, they consume about 56 TWh of electricity per year. Data centres include all buildings and facilities which contain enterprise servers and related server communication equipment to provide some form of data service.

Six new companies have signed today and joined the 26 participants (with 42 data centres) which are currently registered. There are more than 100 endorsers; companies that develop products, solutions and programmes to enable data centre owners and operators to meet the goals of the code of conduct.