Ericsson releases a new guide on carbon emissions in ICT sector
Ericsson IndustryLab’s has launched its latest report, ‘A quick guide to your digital carbon footprint’, that deconstructs ICT’s carbon emissions and shows the climate impacts of our digital lives.
A lot of coverage on digital carbon footprints paint a bleak image, especially when making statements about the future. Why is this? Calculating carbon footprints isn´t rocket science but it demands an understanding of the technology and of the sector. At the same time, many outdated or theoretical estimates are circulating making it hard for non-experts to establish an understanding of the actual situation.
The ‘Quick guide to your digital carbon footprint’ aims to demystify ICT’s carbon footprint by going beyond just the electricity usage of products. The study incorporates greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy and materials used throughout the life cycle of a product. A life cycle assessment is important because it takes into account the environmental impacts of a product or service from cradle to grave, for example from the mine to disposal.
The climate impact of ICT is complex as it involves three levels of impact. These include direct carbon emissions associated with ICT manufacturing, use and disposal (e.g. the carbon footprint), indirect positive or negative emission effects from using ICT (e.g. travel substitution and transportation optimization) and impacting behaviors and preferences.
Key figures in the report:
ICT sector footprint remains at 1.4% of global emissions despite data traffic growth
Renewable electricity can reduce 80% of this footprint
The fuel emissions per person for one Atlantic return trip compares to 50 years of smart phone usage
The digital life of individuals represents few percent of their footprint
The report tells how this compare to other activities for different services and user profiles
What digital solutions are used for impacts more than their footprints and comes with a great potential if used well
Download your copy of the report: ‘A quick guide to your digital carbon footprint’