EU and global tech sector measuring ICT footprint

18 March 2013

BRUSSLES: The EU is working with the world’s leading information technology (ICT) companies to measure their carbon footprints, in a bid to lower global CO2 emissions.

The European Commission is measuring the carbon footprint of the world’s top 27 ICT companies, to create a common measurement framework that can be used around the world.

The footprint of everything from production and transportation to the sales of ICT goods and services is being measured in a series of pilot-tests, in order to better understand and eventually reduce CO2 emissions.

ICT is currently responsible for 8-10% of the EU’s electricity consumption and up to 4% of its carbon emissions, so the program will have a significant impact on lowering global emissions.

The pilot-testing involves ten measurement tools which have been provided by international standard bodies and organizations, and which are being tested by companies including members of The Climate Group, Dell and HP.

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, European Commission, said: "Transparency in measuring the ICTs' environmental effect will empower all of us, citizens, public and private organisations, to make greener choices when we buy or use digital technologies."

Kirsten Jack, Acting Head of Smart Technologies, The Climate Group said: “As our SMART 2020 and Information Marketplaces reports showed, the ICT sector is a key enabler of the clean revolution. The initial measurement tools being used here bring us one step closer towards achieving the impact outlined in those reports, where ICT could deliver around 7.8 gigatons of CO2 emissions savings in 2020. Having a global, comparable, industry-standard measurement will allow the sector to have a huge impact on lowering emissions, and those bold companies at the forefront of such innovation will be recognized for leading ICT’s clean revolution.”

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