Adopting common carbon footprint assessment standards for ICT products.
Proper measurement of GHG emissions — using externally verified, industry-standard methodologies and metrics — is essential for the accurate assessment of GHG emission impacts and the net savings associated with ICT solutions. In general today, measurement approaches are not entirely mature. Given their importance, Alcatel-Lucent is taking a major role in advancing GHG emissions assessment and the development of metrics and standards. Examples of this work include:
GHG Protocol Product Standard
Alcatel-Lucent has taken a leadership role in GeSI’s contribution to this multi-stakeholder initiative, a partnership between the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Carbon Trust established in March 2011.
The initiative is developing guidelines for assessing the GHG impact of ICT products (including goods and services) as part of the GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard. The guidelines are meant to help practitioners measure GHG emissions in a clear and credible way.
Alcatel-Lucent has provided expertise at both the steering and technical committee levels, and co-authored chapters on ICT hardware and telecommunications network services — in the latter case, drawing on specific expertise in network energy use modeling. Both chapters will be available for public comment in 2012.
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Study Group 5
Alcatel-Lucent is co-author for the drafts of both L.1410 - Methodology for environmental impact assessment of ICT goods, networks and services and L.1420 - Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of ICT in organizations. These will be used to assess energy and emissions generated from ICT goods, networks and services, and also for organizations from activities related to their operations.
Alcatel-Lucent is also participating in the ITU’s development of Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability for the ICT Sector, serving as lead author of a chapter on sustainable products. The guidelines will provide technical guidance on environmentally conscious design principles and best practices as to how ICT companies can provide products that are more “environmentally conscious” throughout their full lifecycle — from development and manufacture through usage to end-of-life treatment
Read more about the ITU Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability.
International Electronics Manufacturers Initiative (iNEMI) eco-impact lifecycle assessment – data collection and analysis tools
Lifecycle assessment (LCA) is an essential ICT industry practice for developing products that use materials, manufacturing processes and energy resources efficiently and sustainably. A major obstacle to the use of LCAs today is the lack of sufficient, current environmental data for processes and materials used in ICT products — compounded by the fact that ICT products are composed of hundreds and even thousands of separate components from a multitude of suppliers. This can make the collection of environmental data and LCA-based information extremely complex.
Alcatel-Lucent proposed and is leading an iNEMI work group to develop a framework for more efficiently evaluating and producing environmental impact information on ICT products, drawing on initial R&D by Bell Labs. Key to this is assessing data needs for use in developing an LCA-based tool for the industry. We have shared Bell Labs’ preliminary work through industry partnerships and consortia for broader adoption and evolution with strong, industry-wide support.
In 2011 the European Commission (EC) called for volunteers from across the ICT industry to pilot test methodologies recently completed or under development by international standards development organizations including the ITU, ETSI and IEC, and by industry bodies such as the WRI. This was associated with implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe Key Action 12, with the goal of establishing a common methodological framework for measuring energy intensity and carbon emissions from the production, transport and selling processes of ICT goods, networks and services. Importantly, the framework is to be broadly adoptable by the ICT industry.
In response, Alcatel-Lucent joined a consortium with BT and Cisco to pilot three methodologies for a wholesale Internet service offered by BT. The results will be submitted to the EC and analyzed with those of other entities, with conclusions published in mid-2012. Through the pilot tests, Alcatel-Lucent is contributing to the standards and helping demonstrate their usability.
Alcatel-Lucent is transforming communications for a sustainable planet…