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Action 69: Assess whether the ICT sector has complied with common energy and emission measures

The action aimed at assessing by 2011 whether the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) sector has complied with the timeline to adopt common measurement methodologies for the sector's own energy performance and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and propose legal measures if appropriate.

Key ICT companies piloted the different available methodologies and tested their coherence and compatibility and concluded that the methodologies form a coherent framework; depending on its use more detailed guidance could be required. ITU (International Telecommunication Union), ETSI (European telecommunication Standardization institute) and IEC (International electrotechnical commission) have actively collaborated to ensure consistency and compatibility between the standards on energy use and emission measurements. A Commission Recommendation was adopted in Summer 2013 and a three-year pilot-testing phase started in October 2013 upon completion of which relevant measures (including legislative ones) may be proposed.

What is the problem? ICT is an increasing contributor to the European energy bill

Today ICT equipment and services are estimated to be responsible for somewhere between 2,5 and 4% of the EU's carbon emissions (comparable to the aviation sector) and 8 to 10% of our electricity consumption. These figures are expected to double by 2020.

Why is EU Action required? Reduce energy consumption of ICT sector

The growing ecological footprint of the ICT sector threatens to hinder deployment of ICT with consequences for the industry and the contribution of ICT to the recovery and growth of the economy.

What has the Commission done so far?

  • The Commission invited the ICT sector to develop a framework to measure its energy and environmental performance and adopt and implement common methodologies by 2011.
  • Key stakeholders (including standardisation organisations and industry) are joining up their efforts to deliver on the common methodologies for the sector to quantify the industry's own emissions/energy use.
  • The most significant of these efforts are now delivering their results and the ICT industry has reached some major international agreements over the past couple of weeks, notably consent around the standards has been reached within the ITU and ETSI. Results from the IEC are expected in 2013. The three organisations have actively collaborated to ensure consistency and compatibility between the standards. The Commission has closely followed these developments.
  • In 2011 and 2012 key ICT companies piloted the different available methodologies and tested their coherence and compatibility. They have concluded that the methodologies form a coherent framework and that more detailed guidance could be required.

What will the Commission do?

The Commission launched a new initiative (lead Service: DG ENV) which is called "A Single Market for Green Products in Europe" which aims at promoting common methods for the measurement of the environmental footprint of all products and organisations (including ICT ones). A Commission Recommendation was adopted in Summer 2013 and a three-year pilot-testing phase started in October 2013 upon completion of which relevant measures (including legislative ones) may be proposed.

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Progress Report

Status:
Completed
Colette Maloney

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