Energy Efficiency of the ICT Sector
The European Commission recognises the enabling role the ICT sector can play by for example rendering buildings more energy efficient or improving the functioning of the electricity grid and managing water. Nevertheless the European Commission is also aware that the sector itself is responsible for carbon emissions which are rapidly growing and should be kept to a minimum.
Current Methodology Results
- ITU-T International agreement on ‘Green ICT’ methodology
- Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of information and communication technologies in organizations
- GSMA Energy Efficiency Methodology Incorporated in ITU's New Global Standard
- ETSI approved Technical Standard on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ICT equipment, networks and services: General methodology and common requirements
The above mentioned results follow the activities undertaken by the European Commission in the context of the Digital Agenda for Europe:
> At the initiative of the European Commission, the Chairpersons of the main international standardisation groups working on the development of methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICT gathered on 20 January 2011 and agreed that their standardisation groups would collaborate with each other in order to ensure coherence and compatibility of the methodologies that are currently being developed.
> The European Commission is piloting methodologies quantifying the environmental footprint of ICT products, networks, services and organizations.
> The European Commission itself is working, in collaboration with Joint Research Centre Institute for Environment and Sustainability, on the development of two methodological guides for the calculation of the environmental footprint of products and companies. It attaches great importance to the coherence of these two methodologies with the methodological work going on in the standardisation organisations.
Whilst the standardisation organisations are looking at the energy and carbon footprints mainly, the Joint Research Centre is looking at the broader environmental footprint.
The Commission will test the draft methodology by carrying out a series of pilot projects and organisations can express their interest in participating in this testing phase. For more information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/product_footprint.htm and http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/corporate_footprint.htm
> It has facilitated the launch of the ICT for Energy Efficiency Forum where the ICT sector is working to establish a methodology to measure its own carbon emissions and once this has been agreed to commit to reduction targets.
> The European Commission's Joint Research Centre developed a voluntary "Code of Conduct on Data Centres Energy Efficiency" and a "Code of Conduct on Energy Consumption of Broadband Equipment". The Joint Research Centre brings together European stakeholders to discuss and agree voluntary actions which will improve the energy efficiency of data centres and Broadband Equipment. In September 2010 the Commission hosted a conference where additional companies committed to these Codes of Conduct raising the coverage to 72% of the EU's broadband lines.
>The energy consumption in the use-phase of ICT equipment is also addressed by the Directive establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products.
ITU-EC Workshop “Methodologies for Assessing the Environmental Impact of ICT”, September 5th 2011
This workshop took place in the context of the first ITU Green Standards Week, from September 5th to 9th 2011 in Rome, Italy.
The workshop focused on methodologies for environmental impact assessment of ICT, and examined work underway to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change, and how to standardize the way to calculate the reduction of GHG in ICT operation.
The workshop closed with a Call to Action on industry, international standards bodies, governments, regulators, and academia to converge towards a common set of internationally agreed methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICT in order to curb its growing contribution to increased energy consumption and GHG emissions.
Commissioner Kroes participated remotely to the High-Level Segment of the ITU Green Standards Week and delivered a speech, whose content has been posted on her blog
Greening ICT Workshop, June 16th
The aim is to forge consensus among industry stakeholders on the adoption of a
common methodological framework for capturing the energy intensity and carbon
emissions of ICT.
The workshop will take stock from the progress made under the main existing methodology-development initiatives in Europe and globally (international standardisation organizations, ICT4EE Forum, privately-led initiatives, third-countries...).
The workshop will explore piloting opportunities offered by the Commission to road-test the methodologies fulfilling the criteria set in the Commission Recommendation C(2009) 7604, and Key Action 12 of the Digital Agenda.
Programme and outcome: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/events/cf/daa11/item-display.cfm?id=5992
- Read the Neelie Kroes blogpost "Greening the digital world: major companies to measure the environmental footprint of ICT"
- 2nd Call for Volunteers closed: visit the Pilots website
ITU-EC Workshop on Methodologies for Assessing the
Environmental Impact of ICT,
5 September 2011, Rome
- "Greening ICT" Workshop at the Digital Agenda Assembly: OUTCOME
A High-level signatory event on the
JRC Codes of Conduct on Broadband Equipment and Data Centres was held on 28 September
Watch the video!
Find out more at the ICT 2010 event results page.