ITU Agrees on Methodologies to Assess the Environmental Impact of ICTs

28 September 2011: A recent meeting of the lead study group on information and communication technologies (ICTs) and climate change of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)'s Telecommunication Standardization Sector has adopted a globally-recognized set of methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICTs.

The meeting of Study Group 5 was held from 20-28 September 2011, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The purpose of the methodologies is to address the issue of differing estimates of how much ICTs can reduce global emissions, as well as differing estimates of the emissions generated by the ICT sector.

Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary General explained that disposing of an internationally agreed methodology implies that "estimates of the impact of ICTs on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption will now have much greater credibility." He added by noting that the agreement on the methodologies illustrate the significant contribution ICTs can make to climate change mitigation efforts.

The meeting also resulted in agreement to produce a report on due diligence guidelines for conflict minerals supply. In addition, agreement was reached to study environmental protection and recycling solutions for batteries for mobile phones and other ICT devices, looking at energy efficiency over the battery life cycle, battery lifetime and exchangeability, safety and environmental protection, recycling and reuse. [ITU Press Release]