Ericsson, WWF Partner to Reduce CO2 Emissions

by | May 15, 2009

ericssontubetowerEricsson and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Sweden have partnered to encourage the use of climate-smart telecom solutions across industries to reduce global CO2 emissions.

They will also work together to introduce the concept of being “climate-positive” to companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. This means reducing significant amounts of CO2 emissions in society with low-carbon ICT solutions so that the CO2 reductions are greater than the company’s internal emissions.

According to a recent study by Gartner and the World Wide Fund for Nature, the ICT industry has been slow to embrace the low-carbon economy, and is missing out on opportunities.

The partnership covers three key areas: a methodology for calculating CO2 savings from emission avoidance, the integration of low-carbon telecommunication solutions in climate strategies for cities, and a support platform for partnerships that promote a low-carbon economy.

According to the two organizations, the ICT industry is responsible for approximately 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, but they believe the sector has the potential to help reduce more than 15 percent of the remaining 98 percent emitted by non-ICT industries and the public. They say it can be accomplished if other sectors, such as transport, buildings and energy, better utilize the ICT infrastructure.

Ericsson and WWF Sweden estimate that smart use of broadband-enabled services can reduce CO2 emissions by a factor of 10-100 — the use of a telecom service that emits 1 kg of CO2 may enable a reduction of 10-100 kg of CO2.

They also say fixed and mobile broadband can play a leading role in improving basic services while reducing CO2 emissions by replacing physical products with services and by helping society to use resources more efficiently.

Mobile phone giant Ericsson, itself, has implemented a three-step process to achieving energy-efficient communications for products, sites, and networks.

As part of its goal toward sustainability, Ericsson aims for a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions, per subscriber, by 2013. Annual CO2 emissions for subscribers on GSM networks have fallen from 90 kilograms in 1992 to 20 kg in 2008. For 3G users, CO2 emissions have fallen from 55 kg in 2001 to 25 kg in 2008, according to the company.

Last year, Ericsson unveiled its latest radio base station site concept; a wind-powered Tower Tube. The company estimates the Ericsson Tower Tube will reduce 30 percent CO2 emissions from its materials, production and transportation, compared with traditional steel towers.

Over the next six months, the partnership will step up its effort to get ICT on the global policy agenda for the upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen later this year.

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