TeliaSonera contributes to leading research on the climate impact of ICT

TeliaSonera has recently published a unique study of the climate impact of the Swedish ICT sector together with researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of...

TeliaSonera has recently published a unique study of the climate impact of the Swedish ICT sector together with researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Ericsson. The results and methodology of the study are also applicable to the ICT sector globally.

The study, where TeliaSonera employees Dag Lundén, Greger Andersson and Mikael Nilsson are major contributors, is the most comprehensive of its kind. It is based on a life-cycle assessment approach, taking into account the climate impact of production and use of the ICT network infrastructure, and consumer electronics such as computers, mobile phones and tablets.

70 percent from manufacturing and consumer electronica

To be able to reduce the climate impact from the ICT sector, energy consumption and lifespan of consumer electronics are key factors to address. The study shows that the main impact from the ICT sector originates from consumer electronics. In Sweden 70 percent of the  IT-related emissions comes from  manufacturing and use of customer electronics. A major part of the remaining 30percent relates to data-center operations where cooling represents a major share of the energy consumption.

Nordics ideal for cooling

Meanwhile, the cool climate in the Nordics is ideal for further utilization of energy efficient cooling. For this reason content provider giants like Google and Facebook have placed data centers in Scandinavia, connected to the internet via TeliaSonera’s fiber backbone network.

The result of the study and the methodology can be applied to any similar network globally. The paper presents greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption on country level, per network part and per subscription type.

TeliaSonera encourages other ICT companies to draw on the findings and methodology of the study to quantify the climate impact in their networks. ICT products and services have the potential of drastically reducing the climate impact in other sectors such as transportation, building, industry processes. This study is therefore a great step forward in helping to produce transparent and scientifically verified figures necessary for customers to make qualified decisions on how to reduce their own climate impact through ICT.

The peer-reviewed scientific article is published in Journal of Industrial Ecology:
Malmodin J., Lundén D., Moberg Å., Andersson G. and Nilsson M. (2014) Life cycle assessment of ICT – carbon footprint and operational electricity use from the operator, national and subscriber perspective in Sweden. Journal of Industrial Ecology. dx.doi.org10.1111/jiec.12145

Further information on the research can be found at http://cesc.kth.se.