The ICT sector has great opportunities to achieve the overall aim of decoupling economic growth from the use of resources and associated environmental impacts. At the same time, the sector causes relevant GHG emissions. To understand the true net benefit of the sector, however, the sector’s own impact must first be defined, measured and quantified.
This quantification is challenging for the ICT sector due to its complexity and pervasiveness. Many methodologies and initiatives to quantify GHG emissions and energy consumption have been proposed, and ICT-specific methodologies have been published recently.
The existing methodologies share certain features. Moreover, methodologies themselves have different requirements, and different levels of comprehensiveness and accuracy.
As the ICT industry is global, there is a real need for a methodology that could go beyond borders. This new methodology must be both precise enough to provide high quality data and flexible enough to be adapted to all the specificities of each region of the world.
The project consists of three main parts:
- The first part of this report will consist of a detailed analysis of existing carbon footprint methodologies (generic and ICT-specific). An evaluation system will be created to evaluate and compare methodologies. It will take in account both robustness, ease of use and suitability for EU initiatives.
- Risk and benefit analysis: In order to fully evaluate the consequences of any new GHG reporting requirements, the impacts need to be foreseen and estimated.
- Analysis of scenarios of application: It is possible to imagine different scenarios under which GHG and energy footprint reporting could become voluntary or mandatory for the ICT sector (or subsectors). Scenarios will be defined and analysed according to defined criteria.
- Based on this analysis, conclusions can be drawn and concise policy recommendations made.